The pathways leading to development of neurodegenerative disease and cancer cell death may overlap. Interestingly, the main neurodegeneration-causing factors have been suggested to play a pivotal role in the regulation of tumor growth. Another common component in neurodegenerations and cancer is nitro-oxidative stress. Depending on the environmental conditions, the nitro-oxidative stress may lead to cancerogenesis or cancer cell death. On the other side, it may also result in a variety of neurodegenerative diseases.
Based on the literature data, we suggest that 2-methoxyestradiol may be considered as a physiological link between development of neurodegenerations and cancer cell death. 2-methoxyestradiol is a physiological compound, a metabolite of 17β-estradiol. Interestingly, 2-methoxyestradiol, branded as Panzem, is also considered as a potent anticancer agent, currently investigated in several clinical trials. The review aims on making closer the facts concerning anticancer and plausible neurotoxic activities of 2-methoxyestradiol, which may suggest adverse neurological long-term effects of the drug in cancer patients.