Novel aspects for the application of Curcumin in chemoprevention of various cancers

Front Biosci (Schol Ed). 2010 Jan 1;2:697-717. doi: 10.2741/s95.


Chemoprevention of malignant tumor growth is a novel and potentially powerful approach for tumor therapy. Recent in vitro and in vivo investigations provide increasing evidence that naturally occurring substances may exhibit significant chemopreventive activities. To this regard, the spice Curcumin, widely used in Indian cuisine, has been identified to show considerable anti-tumor effects. Most interestingly, numerous studies have not shown toxic side effects of this substance. Curcumin induces tumor cell apoptosis along with a reduction of tumor cell invasion and metastasis. Recent molecular studies provide evidence that Curcumin acts via a control of the NFkappaB pathway exerting most of the various modulating and moderating effects on malignant cells. Along with these in vitro studies, ex vivo and first clinical investigations confirm the anti-tumor effects of Curcumin, either as an isolated chemoprevention substance or in combination with chemotherapeutic agents as supportive measure reducing pharmaceutical resistance of tumor cells to certain chemotherapeutics. Despite our increasing knowledge on this interesting substance there still remain many unknown effects that deserve intense investigation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Cell Cycle / drug effects
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Chemoprevention / methods*
  • Curcuma / chemistry*
  • Curcumin / administration & dosage
  • Curcumin / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / drug effects
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness / prevention & control
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / prevention & control*
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control*


  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • MicroRNAs
  • Curcumin