Curcumin is a natural polyphenol derived from the plant Curcuma longa, commonly called turmeric. Extensive research over past 50 years has indicated that this polyphenol is highly pleiotropic molecule capable of preventing and treating various cancers. The anticancer potential of Curcumin is severely affected by its limited systemic and target tissue bioavailability and rapid metabolism. In the present review article, we provide a summarized account of different drug delivery systems employed for tackling the problem of curcumins bioavailability such as liposomes, phospholipid complexes and nanoparticles. Concomitantly we have reviewed the large volume of literature reports describing structural modifications of Curcumin and the anticancer potential of its analogs. Some of the difluorocurcumin analogs allowing longer circulation times and preferential accumulation in the pancreas seem to offer promising leads for conducting first in-depth animal studies and subsequently clinical trials for the use of these analogs for prevention of tumor progression and/or treatments of human malignancies.
Keywords: Curcumin, chemoprevention, therapy, synthetic analog
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