Background: Curcumin, an active compound of turmeric spice, is one of the most-studied
natural compounds and has been widely recognized as a chemopreventive agent. Several
molecular mechanisms have proven that curcumin and its analogs play a role in cancer prevention
through modulating various cell signaling pathways as well as in the inhibition of the carcinogenesis
Objective: To study the potential role of curcumin in the management of various types of cancer
through modulating cell signalling molecules based on available literature and recent patents.
Methods: A wide-ranging literature survey was performed based on Scopus, PubMed, PubMed
Central, and Google scholar for the implication of curcumin in cancer management, along with a
special emphasis on human clinical trials. Moreover, patents were searched through
www.google.com/patents, www.freepatentsonline.com, and www.freshpatents.com.
Result: Recent studies based on cancer cells have proven that curcumin has potential effects
against cancer cells as it prevents the growth of cancer and acts as a cancer therapeutic agent. Besides,
curcumin exerted anti-cancer effects by inducing apoptosis, activating tumor suppressor
genes, cell cycle arrest, inhibiting tumor angiogenesis, initiation, promotion, and progression
stages of tumor. It was established that co-treatment of curcumin and anti-cancer drugs could induce
apoptosis and also play a significant role in the suppression of the invasion and metastasis of
Conclusion: Accumulating evidences suggest that curcumin has the potential to inhibit cancer
growth, induce apoptosis, and modulate various cell signaling pathway molecules. Well-designed
clinical trials of curcumin based on human subjects are still needed to establish the bioavailability,
mechanism of action, efficacy, and safe dose in the management of various cancers.