Medical Articles

Low Doses Naltrexone: The Potential Benefit Effects for its Use in Patients with Cancer

Ricardo David Couto, Bruno Jose Dumêt Fernandes


Naltrexone (NTX) is an opioid antagonist that inhibits cell proliferation in vivo when administered in low doses. Naltrexone in low doses can reduce tumor growth by interfering with cell signalling as well as by modifying the immune system. It acts as an Opioid Growth Factor receptor (OGFr) antagonist and the OGF-OGFr axis is an inhibitory biological pathway present in human cancer cells and tissues, being a target for the treatment with naltrexone low-dose (LDN). Clinical trials have proposed a unique mechanism(s) allowing LDN to affect tumors. LDN shows promising results for people with primary cancer of the bladder, breast, liver, lung, lymph nodes, colon and rectum. This short review provides further evidence to support the role of LDN as an anticancer agent.

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