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Front Biosci (Schol Ed). 2012 Jan 1;4:335-55.

Curcumin: the multi-targeted therapy for cancer regression.

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Division of Molecular Medicine, Bose Institute, P-1/12 CIT Scheme VII M, Kolkata, India.


Tumors are multifaceted; in fact, numerous things happen in synchrony to enable tumor promotion and progression. Any type of cancer is associated with the modification of 300-500 normal genes and characterized by the deregulation of cell signaling pathways at multiple steps leading to cancer phenotype. Thus a proper management of tumorigenesis requires the development of multi-targeted therapies. Several adverse effects associated with present day cancer therapies and the thirsts for multi-targeted safe anticancer drug instigate the use of natural polyphenol, curcumin. It appears to involve a blend of anti-carcinogenic, pro-apoptotic, anti-angiogenic, anti-metastatic, immunomodulatory and antioxidant activities. Also the molecular mechanisms implicated for the pleotropic activities of curcumin are diverse and seem to involve a combination of cell signaling pathways at multiple levels of tumorigenesis. Being a potent scavenger of reactive oxygen species, curcumin also ameliorates systemic toxicity in tumor-bearer. Taken together, by placing particular emphasis on molecular basis of tumor promotion and progression this review summarizes the anti-cancer properties of curcumin that may be exploited for successful clinical cancer prevention.

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