Curcumin has a potent antiproliferative activity and can also potentiate the antitumor effect of gemcitabine. This study was undertaken to evaluate the activity and feasibility of gemcitabine in combination with curcumin in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer. Seventeen patients were enrolled in the study and received 8,000 mg of curcumin by mouth daily, concurrently with gemcitabine 1,000 mg/m(2) IV weekly × 3 of 4 wk; 5 patients (29%) discontinued curcumin after a few days to 2 wk due to intractable abdominal fullness or pain, and the dose of curcumin was reduced to 4,000 mg/day because of abdominal complaints in 2 other patients. One of 11 evaluable patients (9%) had partial response, 4 (36%) had stable disease, and 6 (55%) had tumor progression. Time to tumor progression was 1-12 mo (median 2½), and overall survival was 1-24 mo (median 5). Low compliance for curcumin at a dose of 8,000 mg/day, when taken together with systemic gemcitabine, may prevent the use of high doses of oral curcumin needed to achieve systemic effect. Further studies should be conducted to evaluate the ability of other formulations of curcumin to enhance the effect of chemotherapy in cancer patients.