Translating curcumin to the clinic for lung cancer prevention: evaluation of the preclinical evidence for its utility in primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention strategies

J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2014 Sep;350(3):483-94. doi: 10.1124/jpet.114.216333. Epub 2014 Jun 17.


Lung cancer is responsible for over one million deaths worldwide each year. Smoking cessation for lung cancer prevention remains key, but it is increasingly acknowledged that prevention strategies also need to focus on high-risk groups, including ex-smokers, and patients who have undergone resection of a primary tumor. Models for chemoprevention of lung cancer often present conflicting results, making rational design of lung cancer chemoprevention trials challenging. There has been much focus on use of dietary bioactive compounds in lung cancer prevention strategies, primarily due to their favorable toxicity profile and long history of use within the human populace. One such compound is curcumin, derived from the spice turmeric. This review summarizes and stratifies preclinical evidence for chemopreventive efficacy of curcumin in models of lung cancer, and adjudges the weight of evidence for use of curcumin in lung cancer chemoprevention strategies.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acute Lung Injury / drug therapy
  • Acute Lung Injury / pathology
  • Acute Lung Injury / prevention & control
  • Animals
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Curcumin / administration & dosage*
  • Curcumin / chemistry
  • Curcumin / therapeutic use*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / methods*
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Lung Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Lung Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Primary Prevention / methods*
  • Secondary Prevention / methods*
  • Smoking Cessation / methods
  • Tertiary Prevention / methods*
  • Translational Research, Biomedical / methods*


  • Curcumin