Chemopreventive and therapeutic effects of curcumin

Cancer Lett. 2005 Jun 8;223(2):181-90. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2004.09.041. Epub 2004 Nov 11.


Chemoprevention is a promising anti-cancer approach with reduced secondary effects in comparison to classical chemotherapy. Curcumin, one of the most studied chemopreventive agents, is a natural compound extracted from Curcuma longa L. that allows suppression, retardation or inversion of carcinogenesis. Curcumin is also described as an anti-tumoral, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory agent capable of inducing apoptosis in numerous cellular systems. In this review, we describe both properties and mode of action of curcumin on carcinogenesis, gene expression mechanisms and drug metabolism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / drug effects
  • Chemoprevention*
  • Curcumin / pharmacology*
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / metabolism
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Humans
  • NF-kappa B / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Transcription Factors / antagonists & inhibitors


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • NF-kappa B
  • Transcription Factors
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System
  • Curcumin