MDPI, Nutrients, 6(13), p. 2008, 2021
Purpose: To review the effects of polysaccharides and their proposed mechanisms of action in breast cancer experimental models. Data sources, selection, and extraction: Articles were selected by using PubMed, ScienceDirect, Scopus, and Medline, assessed from 1 May 2019 to 1 July 2020. The systematic review was registered in the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (Prospero) under the number CRD42020169103. Results: Most of the studies explore algae polysaccharides (43.2%), followed by mushrooms (13.5%), plants (13.5%), fruits (10.8%), fungus (2.7%), bacteria, (2.7%), and sea animals (2.7%). A total of 8.1% investigated only in vitro models, 62.1% evaluated only in vivo models, and 29.7% evaluated in vitro and in vivo models. The mechanism of action involves apoptosis, inhibition of cellular proliferation, angiogenesis, and antimetastatic effects through multiple pathways. Conclusions: Findings included here support further investigations on the anti-tumor effect of polysaccharides. Some polysaccharides, such as fucoidan and β-glucans, deserve detailed and structured studies aiming at translational research on breast tumors, since they are already used in the clinical practice of other proposals of human health.