The use of curcumin as an effective adjuvant to cancer therapy: A short review

Biotechnol Appl Biochem. 2020 Mar;67(2):171-179. doi: 10.1002/bab.1836. Epub 2019 Nov 3.


Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a popular spice that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for its ability to treat various common ailments. There have been statistical correlations between turmeric consumption and lower incidences of cancer development, prompting research into its primary component curcumin. Several in vitro and in vivo studies over the last decade into cancer treatment have provided experimental evidence that curcumin contains antiproliferative, antiangiogenic, and apoptotic properties. The results of human clinical trials however, have proven mostly to be inconclusive. This short review provides an insight into the properties of curcumin including its bioavailability, biological activity, and potential usage in clinical trials as a chemotherapeutic drug.

Keywords: 8-oxodeoxyguanine; CDK1/Cyclin B1 Complex; DNA Polymerase B; GADD153; curcuma longa.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / chemistry
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / isolation & purification
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacology*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Curcuma / chemistry
  • Curcumin / chemistry
  • Curcumin / isolation & purification
  • Curcumin / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Structure
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / pathology


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Curcumin