Combinatorial effect of curcumin with docetaxel modulates apoptotic and cell survival molecules in prostate cancer

Front Biosci (Elite Ed). 2017 Mar 1;9(2):235-245. doi: 10.2741/e798.


Docetaxel is the most commonly used chemotherapeutic agent to target androgen signaling in metastatic prostate cancer (PCa); however, prolonged treatment with docetaxel results in drug-resistant cancer cells. Combination therapies have the potential of increasing the effectiveness of drug treatment as well as decreasing the side effects. Curcumin is a nontoxic organic compound with multifaceted chemopreventive potential. In this study, we evaluated whether curcumin can reinforce the effect of docetaxel on PCa cells. The PCa cell lines DU145 and PC3 were treated with curcumin and docetaxel alone or in combination. After completion of the treatment cell proliferation and the expression of pro-survival and anti-apoptotic markers and the signaling molecules were analyzed. The combined treatment of curcumin and docetaxel inhibited the proliferation and induced apoptosis significantly higher than the curcumin and docetaxel-treated group alone. Interestingly, the combined treatment with curcumin and docetaxel modulates the expression of RTKs, PI3K, phospho-AKT, NF-kappa B, p53, and COX-2. These results suggest that curcumin can be a potential therapeutic contender in enhancing the efficacy of docetaxel in PCa treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / pharmacology*
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Curcumin / administration & dosage
  • Curcumin / pharmacology*
  • Curcumin / therapeutic use
  • Docetaxel
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Taxoids / administration & dosage
  • Taxoids / pharmacology*
  • Taxoids / therapeutic use


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Taxoids
  • Docetaxel
  • Curcumin