Anti-Cancer and Radio-Sensitizing Effects of Curcumin in Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma

Curr Pharm Des. 2018;24(19):2121-2128. doi: 10.2174/1381612824666180522105202.


Nasopharyngeal Cancer (NPC) is a rare type of head and neck cancer that is mainly treated by radiotherapy, but sometimes it is radioresistant. Curcumin is a polyphenolic natural product with established anticancer effects in various human cancers. Recent studies have shown that curcumin has therapeutic and radiosensitizing effects on NPC cells. In fact, it has been found that curcumin can sensitize NPC cells to radiation through different mechanisms, including modulation of ROS generation, Jab1/CSN5 and non-coding RNAs. As curcumin is safe and lacks systemic toxic effects in humans, it may be considered as a potential candidate to enhance the therapeutic effects of radiation and potentiate the efficacy of chemotherapy in the context of combination regimens.

Keywords: Apoptosis; chemotherapy; curcumin; nasopharyngeal cancer; non-coding RNA; tropical..

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / chemistry
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Biological Products / chemistry
  • Biological Products / therapeutic use*
  • Curcumin / chemistry
  • Curcumin / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Structure
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / pathology


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Biological Products
  • Curcumin