Background: Curcumin, a naturally occurring polyphenol, possesses pleiotropic pharmacologic
properties, including anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant activities. Epidemiological evidence suggests that
curcumin intake is associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer (CRC), highlighting the enormous potential
of this botanical agent in the prevention and treatment of CRC.
Objective: We summarize the anticancer activity of curcumin and its derivatives in CRC.
Methods：We conducted a literature review on the therapeutic effects of curcumin and its derivatives in CRC.
Results: In this review, a summary of the activities of curcumin in the treatment of CRC regarding its
bioavailability, anticancer activity, modes of action, curcumin delivery systems have been provided based on the
researches from preclinical experiments. Also, we discuss the therapeutic effects of curcumin derivatives in CRC.
The human clinical trials that used curcumin or curcumin derivatives for the treatment of CRC are also
Conclusion: Curcumin possesses great potential as a chemopreventive agent in CRC. Moreover, emerging
evidence reveals that it can be an effective adjuvant to CRC therapy. To date, few studies have explored the anticolon
cancer activity of curcumin formulation and curcumin derivatives in vivo; therefore, more works are
needed to confirm their effectiveness. In clinical trials, curcumin treatment protocols (formulation, dose, and
duration) vary among studies. However, these trials consistently point out that the compound is well-tolerated
and safe, albeit with little consensus on its therapeutic efficacy.