Tamoxifen: From Anti-cancer to Antifungal Drug

Document Type : Narrative Review


1 Department of Microbiology, College of Medicine, University of Karbala, Karbala, Iraq

2 AI-Ammam Al-Hussein Medical City Hospital, Karbala, Iraq


Tamoxifen (TAM) is an important drug for treatment of breast cancer. It is most effective against estrogen receptor-positive and negative breast cancer. Protective adjuvant is another applied of TAM for women at risk of development of breast cancer. Anti-cancer activity of TAM can take various pathways of action. Antagonistic with estrogen receptor and oxidation reaction are the most proposed mechanism of action of TAM in cancer cells. Recently, many studies focused on the potential antimicrobial action of TAM. Fungi are demonstrated to affect by TAM through various mechanism of action. Yeasts, especially Candida albicans, are the most common type of fungi used to test the antifungal action of TAM. Inhibitory action on some components of the calcium-calcineurin pathway in fungal cells is most acceptable mechanism of TAM action. TAM can also play a synergistic role to increase the antifungal activity of other standard agents. This review will discuss the most recent information about antifungal action of TAM.