Curcumin as a therapeutic agent in leukemia

J Cell Physiol. 2019 Aug;234(8):12404-12414. doi: 10.1002/jcp.28072. Epub 2019 Jan 4.


Leukemia comprises a group of hematological malignancies responsible for 8% of all cancers and is the most common cancer in children. Despite significant improvements in leukemia treatment, the efficacy of conventional chemotherapeutic agents is low and the disease carries a poor prognosis with frequent relapses and high mortality. Curcumin is a yellow polyphenol compound with diverse pharmacological actions including anticancer, antioxidant, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, hepatoprotective, lipid-regulating, antidepressant, and antiarthritic. Many cellular and experimental studies have reported the benefits of curcumin in treating leukemia. Curcumin's anticancer effects are exerted via various mechanisms. Here, we review the effects of curcumin on various types of leukemia whilst considering its mechanisms of action.

Keywords: Wilms' tumor 1 (WT1); cancer; chemotherapeutic agents; curcumin; leukemia.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Curcumin / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Leukemia / drug therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Curcumin