Curcumin in Treating Breast Cancer: A Review

J Lab Autom. 2016 Dec;21(6):723-731. doi: 10.1177/2211068216655524. Epub 2016 Jun 20.


Breast cancer is among the most common malignant tumors. It is the second leading cause of cancer mortality among women in the United States. Curcumin, an active derivative from turmeric, has been reported to have anticancer and chemoprevention effects on breast cancer. Curcumin exerts its anticancer effect through a complicated molecular signaling network, involving proliferation, estrogen receptor (ER), and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) pathways. Experimental evidence has shown that curcumin also regulates apoptosis and cell phase-related genes and microRNA in breast cancer cells. Herein, we review the recent research efforts in understanding the molecular targets and anticancer mechanisms of curcumin in breast cancer.

Keywords: breast cancer; curcumin; natural compound; signaling pathways.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Biological Products / pharmacology*
  • Biological Products / therapeutic use*
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Curcumin / pharmacology*
  • Curcumin / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • United States


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Biological Products
  • Curcumin