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New insights into therapeutic activity and anticancer properties of curcumin

Authors Panda AK, Chakraborty D, Sarkar I, Khan T, Sa G

Received 25 October 2016

Accepted for publication 27 January 2017

Published 31 March 2017 Volume 2017:9 Pages 31—45


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Bal Lokeshwar

Abir Kumar Panda, Dwaipayan Chakraborty, Irene Sarkar, Tila Khan, Gaurisankar Sa

Division of Molecular Medicine, Bose Institute, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Abstract: Natural compounds obtained from plants are capable of garnering considerable attention from the scientific community, primarily due to their ability to check and prevent the onset and progress of cancer. These natural compounds are primarily used due to their nontoxic nature and the fewer side effects they cause compared to chemotherapeutic drugs. Furthermore, such natural products perform even better when given as an adjuvant along with traditional chemotherapeutic drugs, thereby enhancing the potential of chemotherapeutics and simultaneously reducing their undesired side effects. Curcumin, a naturally occurring polyphenol compound found in the plant Curcuma longa, is used as an Indian spice. It regulates not only the various pathways of the immune system, cell cycle checkpoints, apoptosis, and antioxidant response but also numerous intracellular targets, including pathways and protein molecules controlling tumor progression. Many recent studies conducted by major research groups around the globe suggest the use of curcumin as a chemopreventive adjuvant molecule to maximize and minimize the desired effects and side effects of chemotherapeutic drugs. However, low bioavailability of a curcumin molecule is the primary challenge encountered in adjuvant therapy. This review explores different therapeutic interactions of curcumin along with its targeted pathways and molecules that are involved in the regulation of onset and progression of different types of cancers, cancer treatment, and the strategies to overcome bioavailability issues and new targets of curcumin in the ever-growing field of cancer.

Keywords: apoptosis, cancer, cell signaling, combinatorial therapy, curcumin/nanocurcumin, drug resistance

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