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Antineoplastic activity of artemisinin in adrenocortical carcinoma

  • Luigi Lorini
  • Salvatore Grisanti
  • Roberta Ambrosini
  • Deborah Cosentini
  • Marta Laganà
  • Luigi Grazioli
  • Guido A. M. Tiberio
  • Sandra Sigala
  • Alfredo BerrutiEmail author
Research Letter

Artemisia annua is a medicinal plant that is used in China to treat various diseases for over two millenniums. Preclinical studies revealed that the compound has a cytotoxic activity against various types of cancer cells [1].

Data on anticancer activity of artemisinin in humans are limited, but case reports and small case series have shown encouraging results in patients affected by metastatic breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and uveal melanoma [2].

The main mechanism of artemisinin antineoplastic activity is not fully elucidated. This drug and relevant derivatives display a multitarget activity, as frequently observed in most natural products [3]. Indeed, artemisinin compounds could block the activation of intracellular pathways such as Wnt/β-catenin, BCR/ABL, or by inducing cell cycle arrest, alteration of DNA repair mechanisms and inducing death via apoptosis and nonapoptotic pathways.

Concerning the artemisinin safety profile, reported adverse effects, such as renal, hepatic, and...


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This study was supported with the contribution of FIRM Foundation (Cremona, Italy).

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from the patient included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luigi Lorini
    • 1
  • Salvatore Grisanti
    • 1
  • Roberta Ambrosini
    • 2
  • Deborah Cosentini
    • 1
  • Marta Laganà
    • 1
  • Luigi Grazioli
    • 2
  • Guido A. M. Tiberio
    • 3
  • Sandra Sigala
    • 4
  • Alfredo Berruti
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Medical Oncology Unit, Department of Medical and Surgical Specialties, Radiological Sciences, and Public HealthUniversity of Brescia. ASST Spedali CiviliBresciaItaly
  2. 2.Radiology Unit, Department of Medical and Surgical Specialties, Radiological Sciences, and Public HealthUniversity of Brescia. ASST Spedali CiviliBresciaItaly
  3. 3.Surgical Unit, Department of Medical and Surgical Specialties, Radiological Sciences, and Public HealthUniversity of Brescia. ASST Spedali Civili di BresciaBresciaItaly
  4. 4.Section of Pharmacology, Department of Molecular and Translational MedicineUniversity of BresciaBresciaItaly

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