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Curcumin: A wonder anticancer drug

Author(s): Yogesh Panditrao Palve | P.L. Nayak

Journal: International Journal of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences
ISSN 0976-5263

Volume: 03;
Issue: 02;
Start page: 60;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: Curcumin | Curcuminoids | Anticancer agent | Neurodegenerative disease | Drug delivery

Curcumin [(1E,6E)-1,7-bis(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)hepta-1,6-diene-3,5di one] is the major yellow pigment extracted from turmeric, a commonly used spice, derived from the rhizome of the plant Curcuma longa. In India and Southeast Asia, turmeric has long been used as a treatment for inflammation, skin wounds and tumors. Curcumin has broad spectrum cancer chemo preventive activity in preclinical animal models. The anticancer potential of curcumin stems from its ability to suppress proliferation of a wide variety of tumor cells, down-regulatetranscription factors NF-κB, AP-1 and Egr-1; down-regulate the expression of COX2, LOX, NOS, MMP-9, uPA, TNF, chemokines, cell surface adhesion molecules and cyclin D1; down-regulate growth factor receptors (such as EGFR and HER2); and inhibit the activity of c-Jun N-terminal kinase, protein tyrosine kinases and protein serine/threonine kinases. In several systems, curcumin has been described as a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. Evidence has also been presented to suggest that curcumin can suppress tumor initiation, promotion and metastasis. Pharmacologically, curcumin has been found to be safe. Human clinical trials indicated no dose-limiting toxicity when administered at doses up to 10 g/day. All of these studies suggest that curcumin has enormous potential in the prevention and therapy of cancer. The current review describes in detail the data supporting thesestudies.
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