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Perspectives on New Synthetic Curcumin Analogs and their Potential Anticancer Properties

[ Vol. 19 , Issue. 11 ]


Alok Vyas, Prasad Dandawate, Subhash Padhye, Aamir Ahmad and Fazlul Sarkar   Pages 2047 - 2069 ( 23 )


Curcumin is the active component of dried rhizome of Curcuma longa, a perennial herb belonging to ginger family, cultivated extensively in south and southeastern tropical Asia. It is widely consumed in the Indian subcontinent, south Asia and Japan in traditional food recipes. Extensive research over last few decades has shown that curcumin is a potent anti-inflammatory agent with powerful therapeutic potential against a variety of cancers. It suppresses proliferation and metastasis of human tumors through regulation of various transcription factors, growth factors, inflammatory cytokines, protein kinases and other enzymes. It induces apoptotic cell death and also inhibits proliferation of cancer cells by cell cycle arrest. Pharmacokinetic data has shown that curcumin undergoes rapid metabolism leading to glucuronidation and sulfation in the liver and excretion in the feces, which accounts for its poor systemic bioavailability. The compound has, therefore, been formulated and administered using different drug delivery systems such as liposomes, micelles, polysaccharides, phospholipid complexes and nanoparticles that can overcome the limitation of bioavailability to some extent. Attempts to avoid rapid metabolism of curcumin until now have been met with limited success. This has prompted researchers to look for new synthetic curcumin analogs in order to overcome the drawbacks of limited bioavailability and rapid metabolism, and gain efficacy with reduced toxicity. In this review we provide a summarized account of novel synthetic curcumin formulations and analogs, and the recent progress in the field of cancer prevention and treatment.


Curcumin, curcumin analogs, anticancer, novel formulations, Curcuma longa, anti-inflammatory agent, tumors, cell cycle arrest, phospholipid complexes, nanoparticles


Department of Pathology, Karmanos Cancer Institute, 740 HWCRC Bldg, 4100 John R. Street, Detroit, MI 48201 USA.

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