CC BY 4.0 · Glob Med Genet 2023; 10(03): 205-220
DOI: 10.1055/s-0043-1772219
Review Article

Fisetin's Promising Antitumor Effects: Uncovering Mechanisms and Targeting for Future Therapies

Eskandar Qaed#
1   State Key Laboratory of Applied Organic Chemistry, Key Laboratory of Nonferrous Metal Chemistry and Resources Utilization of Gansu Province, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, People's Republic of China
Bandar Al-Hamyari#
2   School of Pharmacy and State Key Laboratory of Applied Organic Chemistry, Lanzhou University, People's Republic of China
Ahmed Al-Maamari#
3   The Key Laboratory of Neural and Vascular Biology, The Key Laboratory of New Drug Pharmacology and Toxicology, Department of Pharmacology, Ministry of Education, Hebei Medical University, Shijiazhuang, People's Republic of China
Abdullah Qaid#
4   N.I. Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University, Russia
Haneen Alademy
5   Taiz University Faculty of Medicine and Health Science, Yemen
Marwan Almoiliqy
6   Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Science and Technology, Aden, Yemen
7   Department of Translational Molecular Pathology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, United States
Jean Claude Munyemana
1   State Key Laboratory of Applied Organic Chemistry, Key Laboratory of Nonferrous Metal Chemistry and Resources Utilization of Gansu Province, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, People's Republic of China
Murad Al-Nusaif
8   Department of Neurology and Liaoning Provincial Key Laboratory for Research on the Pathogenic Mechanisms of Neurological Diseases, the First Affiliated Hospital, Dalian Medical University, Dalian, People's Republic of China
Jameel Alafifi
2   School of Pharmacy and State Key Laboratory of Applied Organic Chemistry, Lanzhou University, People's Republic of China
Eman Alyafeai
9   School of Pharmaceutical Science, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, People's Republic of China
Mohammed Safi
10   Department of Pharmacy, Dalian Medical University, Dalian, People's Republic of China
Zhaohong Geng
11   Department of Cardiology, 2nd Affiliated Hospital of Dalian Medical University, Dalian, People's Republic of China
Zeyao Tang
10   Department of Pharmacy, Dalian Medical University, Dalian, People's Republic of China
Xiaodong Ma
10   Department of Pharmacy, Dalian Medical University, Dalian, People's Republic of China
› Author Affiliations
Funding None.


Background Cancer remains a critical global health challenge and a leading cause of mortality. Flavonoids found in fruits and vegetables have gained attention for their potential anti-cancer properties. Fisetin, abundantly present in strawberries, apples, onions, and other plant sources, has emerged as a promising candidate for cancer prevention. Epidemiological studies linking a diet rich in these foods to lower cancer risk have sparked extensive research on fisetin’s efficacy.

Objective This review aims to comprehensively explore the molecular mechanisms of fisetin's anticancer properties and investigate its potential synergistic effects with other anticancer drugs. Furthermore, the review examines the therapeutic and preventive effects of fisetin against various cancers.

Methods A systematic analysis of the available scientific literature was conducted, including research articles, clinical trials, and review papers related to fisetin’s anticancer properties. Reputable databases were searched, and selected studies were critically evaluated to extract essential information on fisetin’s mechanisms of action and its interactions with other anticancer drugs.

Results Preclinical trials have demonstrated that fisetin inhibits cancer cell growth through mechanisms such as cell cycle alteration, induction of apoptosis, and activation of the autophagy signaling pathway. Additionally, fisetin reduces reactive oxygen species levels, contributing to its overall anticancer potential. Investigation of its synergistic effects with other anticancer drugs suggests potential for combination therapies.

Conclusion Fisetin, a bioactive flavonoid abundant in fruits and vegetables, exhibits promising anticancer properties through multiple mechanisms of action. Preclinical trials provide a foundation for further exploration in human clinical trials. Understanding fisetin’s molecular mechanisms is vital for developing novel, safe, and effective cancer prevention and treatment strategies. The potential synergy with other anticancer drugs opens new avenues for combination therapies, enhancing cancer management approaches and global health outcomes.

Author Contributions

All named authors take responsibility for the integrity of the work as a whole and have given final approval for the version to be submitted. E.Q., B.Al-H., A.Al-M., and A.Q. were responsible for writing and designing the study. H.A. and J.C.M. were responsible for designing and implementing the idea, collection of results, and writing the manuscript and drawing the figures. M.A. and M.Al-N. were responsible for writing and designing the study. J.A. and E.A. were responsible for writing and revising the manuscript. M.S., Z.G., Z.T., and X.M. were responsible for the manuscript. All authors reviewed the manuscript.

Ethical Approval

This is a review article and ethical approval is not applicable.

Data Availability

Not applicable.

# Equal contributions.

Publication History

Article published online:
09 August 2023

© 2023. The Author(s). This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, permitting unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction so long as the original work is properly cited. (

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