Role of Curcumin in Cancer Treatment


Curcumin is a major component of turmeric – a well-known spice that gets harvested from the rhizomes of the roots belonging to the herbaceous perennial plant from the ginger family.   There is no denying the medical importance of turmeric for imparting a wide range of medical benefits to the human body.  Turmeric has been used since ages for its medicinal properties that are used for treating a wide number of ailments and diseases.  Turmeric is also commonly used in Indian and Asian food recipes for its health benefits.

Curcumin in turmeric is known to have multiple health-boosting effects on the body including ensuring relief from inflammations, cancer prevention, pain, and providing relief from metabolic syndrome symptoms.  Some research reports have deduced that curcumin also tends to have anti-cancer properties.

Anti-cancer Effects of Curcumin

There are several medical studies that have revealed that anti-cancer properties of curcumin in Turmeric.  Though most of these studies reveal the anti-cancer properties of curcumin, most of the studies have been carried out in-vitro.  The given studies suggest that curcumin is known for inhibiting cell proliferation and can help in inducing cell cycle arrest, senescence, and apoptosis –through multiple procedures, across several types of cancer cell lines.  Curcumin has also been observed to provide aid in decreasing the expression of different kinds of enzymes, inflammatory cytokines, transcription factors, growth factors, and various other cell-signaling aspects that are vital for cancer progression and growth.

Curcumin has also been evaluated in different animal models for different types of cancers.  The given studies have usually reported that curcumin tends to have anti-proliferative properties.  For instance, the mouse model of CRC (Colorectal Cancer) that received treatment from the intraperitoneal injection of curcumin demonstrated inhibited growth of a tumor or prolonged life.  The data that has been derived from the study also states that curcumin exercised control over the miRNA.  This helped in decreasing the Wnt/beta-catenin pathway leading to prolonged survival.

Research that was conducted in the respective animal models having breast cancer claimed that curcumin helps in down-regulating NF-kB, inhibiting angiogenic signaling, and reducing metastasis.

All of these results in the decreased formation of microvessels.  Animal studies with pancreatic cancer have also determined that curcumin helps in inhibiting tumor growth, suppressing proliferation, and reducing angiogenesis.