Propolis: Antineoplastic Activity, Constituents, and Mechanisms of Action

Patricia Ruiz-Bustos, Efrain Alday, Adriana Garibay-Escobar, José Maurício Sforcin, Yulia Lipovka, Javier Hernandez, Carlos Velazquez*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Propolis is a beehive product with great pharmacological potential, including antineo-plastic activity. Objectives: The aim of this study is to provide an actual understanding of the existent scientific information regarding the antiproliferative effect of propolis, proposed mechanisms of action, and challenges to meet. Methods: An assessment of the scientific literature was attained using the PubMed and SciFinder platforms. Research papers, clinical trials, and reviews published between the years 2000-2021, were considered. The words “anticancer”, “antitumor”, “antiproliferative” and “propolis” were used in the search criteria. Conclusion: A summary of several antiproliferative activities of different types of propolis is ex-posed. The potential health benefits of propolis are discussed. The variable plant origin of propolis partially accounts for its anti-cancer activities. Even when some mechanisms of action of propolis have been proposed, much of the genesis of how this effect is produced is yet to be answered, including several molecular mechanisms in different biological systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1753-1764
Number of pages12
JournalCurrent topics in medicinal chemistry
Issue number18
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Bentham Science Publishers.


  • Anticancer
  • Antiproliferative
  • Antitumor
  • Chemical composition
  • Mechanisms
  • Propolis


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