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Future Oncol. 2005 Jun;1(3):405-14.

Chemopreventive properties of curcumin.

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Queen's University of Belfast, Department of Surgery, Centre for Cancer and Cell Biology, Belfast, BT12 6BJ, Ireland.


Inhibition of defined molecular steps of tumorigenesis by natural nontoxic compounds may be an efficient means to tackle the population cancer burden. Extensive research has addressed the chemotherapeutic potential of curcumin (diferuloylmethane), a relatively nontoxic plant-derived polyphenol. This review considers the following properties of curcumin: anticancer effects in animal model systems; metabolism; biological structure and pharmacokinetics; biological properties implicated in chemoprevention; antioxidant properties; influences upon Phase I and II carcinogen-metabolizing enzymes; signal transduction properties and the neoplastic phenotype; apoptosis evasion, cell proliferation, de-differentiation, migration and invasion and clinical studies. This review will summarize the unique properties of curcumin that may be exploited for successful clinical cancer prevention.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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