In one clinical trial, patients with glioblastoma, a type of brain cancer, were given either radiation and melatonin, or radiation alone. Twenty-three percent of the patients who took the melatonin were alive after a year, while none who had received only radiation were still alive. Similarly, in another study by oncologists in
Studies have also revealed melatonin to be more effective for treating pancreatic and lung cancers than a drug commonly used to treat these types of cancers. What's more, this drug may cost more than $4,000 per month, while twenty milligrams of melatonin cost approximately $11 per month.
Melatonin functions to destroy cancer in multiple ways. First, because it is toxic to cancer cells, it induces apoptosis, or cancer cell auto-destruction, as well as directly kills cancer cells. It also slows tumor growth through a variety of mechanisms, such as by inhibiting epidermal growth factor receptors on cancer cells. Epidermal growth factors play an important role in cancer cell growth and proliferation, so blocking their receptors on cancer cells prevents them from carrying out these roles.
Melatonin also stimulates the immune system and increases the cancer-killing activity of macrophages, monocytes, natural killer cells, T-helper cells and eosinophils, all of which are involved in cancer cell destruction.
Additionally, melatonin inhibits angiogenesis (new tumor blood vessel creation) from existing blood vessels. Tumors get their nutrition through blood vessels, and as they grow, they require an increasingly greater supply of blood vessels to feed themselves. Preventing new blood vessel growth limits their food intake and causes them to shrink or stop growing.
Melatonin has properties which enable it to block the effects of estrogen upon cancer cells; this is important because certain forms of estrogen stimulate the growth of hormonally-influenced cancers, such as breast, endometrial, ovarian and uterine cancers.
Finally, as an antioxidant, melatonin reduces inflammation, a condition that enables cancer's survival, and it scavenges free radicals so that they don't damage normal cells and make them vulnerable to further genetic mutations.
Despite these favorable statistics, melatonin is seldom recommended to patients in conventional medicine because the laws which govern the practice of medicine are drastically influenced by pharmaceutical interests, which prevent doctors from recommending it to their patients in lieu of expensive, damaging chemotherapy drugs. It is, however, an effective natural treatment that not only helps to prevent cancer, but which also plays an integral role in healing the body from it.
Martin Dayton, et al. Defeat Cancer: 15 Doctors of Integrative and Naturopathic Medicine Tell You How. BioMed Publishing Group, May 2011