Chem Phys Lipids. 2017 Apr 11. pii: S0009-3084(17)30025-7
Natural products are an interesting source of new therapeutics, especially for cancer therapy as 70% of them have botany origin. Propolis, a resinous mixture that honey bees collect and transform from tree buds, sap flows, or other botanical sources, has been used by ethnobotany and traditional practitioners as early in Egypt as 3000 BC.
Enriched in flavonoids, phenol acids and terpene derivatives, propolis has been widely used for its antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties. Even though it is a challenge to standardize propolis composition, chemical analyses have pointed out interesting molecules that also present anti-oxidant and anti-proliferative properties that are of interest in the field of anti-cancer therapy.
This review describes the various geographical origins and compositions of propolis, and analyzes how the main compounds of propolis could modulate cell signaling. A focus is made on the putative use of propolis in prostate cancer.