Role of Curcumin in Cancer Prevention and Management

Despite major advances in the field of treatmentmodalities across the past decade neither the disease’s incidence nor the resultant mortality rate from Cancer has changed much in the past 30 years.

Available drugs for treating cancer show limited efficacy and come with serious side effects and are quite expensive too. Therefore, it is necessary to identify pharmacological agents that could treat the disease without those disadvantages. Curcumin, a polyphenol found in the rhizome of the Turmeric plant scientifically referred to as Curcuma Longa is one such pharmacological agent.

This power-packed phenolic component is extracted from turmeric. It gives turmeric its characteristic yellow color. The compound is used as an additive spice for food. But, modern studies hail curcumin for its many other functions other than just a kitchen spice. In ancient Ayurveda, the herb was used as a healing herb for a wide range of ailments. Modern researchers have rediscovered the healing properties of the herb and are propounding the herb as a cure for an array of human illnesses.

Curcumin has been the subject of extensive research over the past 3 decades for the potential anti-cancerous effects it has. Studies have shown that Curcumincan arrest the initiation, the progression and also the metastasis of various types of tumors. The anti-cancerous impact of curcumin is primarily brought about by the negative regulation of a vast range of growth factors, transcription factors, protein kinases, oncogenic molecules and inflammatory cytokines.

The polyphenolic compound ‘Curcumin’ also abrogates cancer cell proliferation by curbing their growth at the different stages of the cancer cell cycle and by prompting the apoptosis of the cells. A diverse range of molecular targets are modulated by the potent curcumin and that makes it an effective treatment for human cancers.