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Potential Therapeutic Targets of Curcumin, Most Abundant Active Compound of Turmeric Spice: Role in the Management of Various Types of Cancer

[ Vol. 16 , Issue. 1 ]


Saleh A. Almatroodi, Mansoor Ali Syed and Arshad Husain Rahmani*   Pages 3 - 29 ( 27 )


Background: Curcumin, an active compound of turmeric spice, is one of the most-studied natural compounds and has been widely recognized as a chemopreventive agent. Several molecular mechanisms have proven that curcumin and its analogs play a role in cancer prevention through modulating various cell signaling pathways as well as in the inhibition of the carcinogenesis process.

Objective: To study the potential role of curcumin in the management of various types of cancer through modulating cell signalling molecules based on available literature and recent patents.

Methods: A wide-ranging literature survey was performed based on Scopus, PubMed, PubMed Central, and Google scholar for the implication of curcumin in cancer management, along with a special emphasis on human clinical trials. Moreover, patents were searched through,, and

Result: Recent studies based on cancer cells have proven that curcumin has potential effects against cancer cells as it prevents the growth of cancer and acts as a cancer therapeutic agent. Besides, curcumin exerted anti-cancer effects by inducing apoptosis, activating tumor suppressor genes, cell cycle arrest, inhibiting tumor angiogenesis, initiation, promotion, and progression stages of tumor. It was established that co-treatment of curcumin and anti-cancer drugs could induce apoptosis and also play a significant role in the suppression of the invasion and metastasis of cancer cells.

Conclusion: Accumulating evidences suggest that curcumin has the potential to inhibit cancer growth, induce apoptosis, and modulate various cell signaling pathway molecules. Well-designed clinical trials of curcumin based on human subjects are still needed to establish the bioavailability, mechanism of action, efficacy, and safe dose in the management of various cancers.


Angiogenesis, apoptosis, cancer, cell cycle, cell signaling pathways, clinical trials, synergistic effect.


Department of Medical Laboratories, College of Applied Medical Science, Qassim University, Buraydah 52571, Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Translational Research Lab, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi 110025, Department of Medical Laboratories, College of Applied Medical Science, Qassim University, Buraydah 52571

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