Background: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common causes of cancer-associated mortality
in the world. Anti-tumor effect of curcumin has been shown in different cancers; however, the therapeutic
potential of novel phytosomal curcumin, as well as the underlying molecular mechanism in CRC, has not yet been
Methods: The anti-proliferative, anti-migratory and apoptotic activity of phytosomal curcumin in CT26 cells was
assessed by MTT assay, wound healing assay and Flow cytometry, respectively. Phytosomal curcumin was also
tested for its in-vivo activity in a xenograft mouse model of CRC. In addition, oxidant/antioxidant activity was
examined by DCFH-DA assay in vitro, measurement of malondialdehyde (MDA), Thiol and superoxidedismutase
(SOD) and catalase (CAT) activity and also evaluation of expression levels of Nrf2 and GCLM by
qRT-PCR in tumor tissues. In addition, the effect of phytosomal curcumin on angiogenesis was assessed by the
measurement of VEGF-A and VEGFR-1 and VEGF signaling regulatory microRNAs (miRNAs) in tumor tissue.
Results: Phytosomal curcumin exerts anti-proliferative, anti-migratory and apoptotic activity in-vitro. It also
decreases tumor growth and augmented 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) anti-tumor effect in-vivo. In addition, our data
showed that induction of oxidative stress and inhibition of angiogenesis through modulation of VEGF signaling
regulatory miRNAs might be underlying mechanisms by which phytosomal curcumin exerted its antitumor effect.
Conclusion: Our data confirmed this notion that phytosomal curcumin administrates anticancer effects and can be
used as a complementary treatment in clinical settings.