The effects of curcumin on the invasiveness of prostate cancer in vitro and in vivo

Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2006;9(2):147-52. doi: 10.1038/sj.pcan.4500856. Epub 2006 Jan 3.


Curcumin has become a focus of interest with regard to its antitumor effects in prostate cancer; however, the effects of this agent on invasion and metastasis remain less well understood. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are important prerequisite for tumor invasion and metastasis. In this study, we evaluated the effects of curcumin on prostate cancer cells (DU-145) invasion in both in vitro and in vivo. We utilized zymography and ELISA in order to determine the MMP-2 and MMP-9 activity. Matrigel invasion assay was performed to assess cellular invasion. We developed a xenograft model to examine tumorigenicity. Curcumin treatment resulted not only in a significant reduction in the expression of MMP-2 and MMP-9, but also effected the inhibition of invasive ability in vitro. Curcumin was shown to induce a marked reduction of tumor volume, MMP-2, and MMP-9 activity in the tumor-bearing site. The metastatic nodules in vivo were significantly fewer in the curcumin-treated group than untreated group. Curcumin appears to constitute a potential agent for the prevention of cancer progression, or at least of the initial phase of metastasis, in prostate cancer.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis
  • Caspase 3
  • Caspases / analysis
  • Caspases / metabolism
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Curcumin / pharmacology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Male
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 2 / analysis
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 2 / metabolism
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 / analysis
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness / pathology*
  • Neoplasms, Experimental
  • Probability
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Transplantation, Heterologous
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured / cytology
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured / drug effects


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Casp3 protein, mouse
  • Caspase 3
  • Caspases
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 2
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9
  • Curcumin