Copyright ©2014 Baishideng Publishing Group Co., Limited. All rights reserved.
World J Gastrointest Oncol. Jan 15, 2014; 6(1): 11-21
Published online Jan 15, 2014. doi: 10.4251/wjgo.v6.i1.11
Antidepressant fluoxetine and its potential against colon tumors
Helga Stopper, Sergio Britto Garcia, Ana Maria Waaga-Gasser, Vinicius Kannen
Helga Stopper, Vinicius Kannen, Department of Toxicology, University of Wuerzburg, D-97078 Wurzburg, Germany
Sergio Britto Garcia, Department of Pathology, Medical School of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, SP 14040-902, Brazil
Ana Maria Waaga-Gasser, Department of Surgery I, Molecular Oncology and Immunology, University of Wuerzburg, D-97078 Wuerzburg, Germany
Supported by German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPQ); and Foundation for Research Support of the State of São Paulo (FAPESP)
Author contributions: Stoppe H, Garcia SB, and Waaga-Gasser AM contributed with unpublished data and discussions; Kannen V conceived and wrote this manuscript.
Correspondence to: Vinicius Kannen, PhD, Department of Toxicology, University of Wuerzburg, Versbacher Strasse 9, D-97078 Wuerzburg, Germany.
Telephone: +49-931-86133 Fax: +49-931-86133
Received: September 20, 2013
Revised: November 9, 2013
Accepted: December 9, 2013
Published online: January 15, 2014
Processing time: 117 Days and 11.8 Hours

Colon cancer is one of the most common tumors worldwide, with increasing incidence in developing countries. Patients treated with fluoxetine (FLX) have a reduced incidence of colon cancer, although there still remains great controversy about the nature of its effects. Here we explore the latest achievements related to FLX treatment and colon cancer. Moreover, we discuss new ideas about the mechanisms of the effects of FLX treatment in colon cancer. This leads to the hypothesis of FLX arresting colon tumor cells at the at G1 cell-cycle phase through a control of the tumor-related energy generation machinery. We believe that the potential of FLX to act against tumor metabolism warrants further investigation.

Keywords: Fluoxetine, Colon cancer, Cancer therapy, Tumor metabolism

Core tip: It is currently thought that aerobic glycolysis is key for understanding cell survival in the hostile tumor microenvironment. Then, the antidepressant fluoxetine (FLX) has been shown to reduce colon tumor growth in animals and colon cancer incidence in humans. Here, we explore new perspectives of FLX reducing the development of colon tumors through a blockage in tumor metabolism. This perspective review is based on our current unpublished experimental dataset which shows FLX as a potential co-chemotherapeutic agent for colon cancer therapy.