The Role of Curcumin in Prevention and Management of Metastatic Disease

Int J Mol Sci. 2018 Jun 9;19(6):1716. doi: 10.3390/ijms19061716.


In the last two decades, targeted therapies have enhanced tumor patient care and treatment success, however, metastatic growth still cannot be stopped efficiently and, therefore, mortality rates remain high. Prevention strategies against formation of metastases are the most promising approach we have, however, due to lack of clinical validation studies, they have not yet entered routine clinical care. In order to smooth the way for efficient prevention, further preclinical and large clinical studies are required. In this context, the underlying molecular mechanisms and factors that lead to metastatic growth have to be explored, and potential preventive agents have to be tested. Thereby, special attention has to be paid to natural bioactive compounds which do not exert major adverse effects, like the plant-derived polyphenol Curcumin, which is known to be a powerful antitumor agent. So far, most of the preclinical studies with Curcumin have focused on its effect on inhibiting tumor cell proliferation and invasion, although, it is known that it also inhibits metastatic spread in vivo. This review discusses the preventive potential of this natural compound not only against tumor onset, but also against formation of metastases.

Keywords: cancer; curcumin; metastases; prevention.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Chemoprevention
  • Curcumin / pharmacology
  • Curcumin / therapeutic use*
  • Feedback, Physiological
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / prevention & control*


  • Curcumin