Ovarian cancer has the highest incidence in women, and due to its late diagnosis and poor prognosis, is the most aggressive of gynecological cancers. Ovarian cancer is initially responsive to chemotherapy, and a considerable reduction of tumor growth is expected; however, many women develop chemoresistance as a result of treatment. It is undisputable that risk factors, such as chronic alcoholism, can facilitates the development of tumors, acting as a co-carcinogenic drug. Interestingly, tumorigenesis and ethanol consumption share common mechanisms related to apoptosis and survival of tumor cells. Because melatonin exert oncostatic and pro-apoptotic functions in solid tumors, the present study aims to investigate the effect of ovarian tumor induction and the influence of therapy with melatonin on apoptosis in the ovaries of ethanol-preferring rats (UChB strain). For this, the following parameters will be investigated: assessment of the estrous cycle during tumor development, evaluation and characterization of the subtypes of ovarian tumor by histopathological analysis, immunolocalization and quantification of the anti-apoptotic proteins(Bcl-2 and survivin) and pro-apoptotic (caspase 3 and BAX) and p53(associated with tumor suppressor induced-cell death) through immunohistochemistry and Western blot. These results will bring new insights into the effects of melatonin on apoptosis, tumor cell survival and chemoresistance to treatments.
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