Background: The potential use of nanocarriers is being explored rapidly for the targeted delivery of anticancer agents. Curcumin is a natural polyphenolic compound obtained from rhizomes of turmeric, belongs to family Zingiberaceae. It possesses chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic activity with low toxicity in almost all types of cancer. The low solubility and bioavailability of curcumin make it unable to use for the clinical purpose. The necessity of an effective strategy to overcome limitations of curcumin is responsible for the development of its nanocarriers.
Objective: This study is aimed to review the role of curcumin nanocarriers for the treatment of cancer with special emphasis on cellular uptake and in-vitro cytotoxicity studies. In addition to this, the effect of various ligand conjugated curcumin nanoparticles on different types of cancer was also studied.
Method: A systematic review was conducted by extensively surfing the PubMed, science direct and other portals to get the latest update on recent development in nanocarriers of curcumin.
Result: The current data from recent studies showed that nanocarriers of curcumin resulted in the targeted delivery, higher efficacy, enhanced bioavailability and lower toxicity. The curcumin nanoparticles showed significant inhibitory effects on cancer cells than compare to free curcumin.
Conclusion: It can be concluded that bioavailability of curcumin and its cytotoxic effect to cancer cells can be enhanced by the development of curcumin based nanocarriers and it was found to be a potential drug delivery technique for the treatment of cancer.