A review of Curcumin and its derivatives as anticancer agents

Mhd Anas Tomeh, Roja Hadianamrei, Xiubo Zhao*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the world and one of the major public health problems. Despite the great advances in cancer therapy, the incidence and mortality rates of cancer remain high. Therefore, the quest for more efficient and less toxic cancer treatment strategies is still at the forefront of current research. Curcumin, the active ingredient of the Curcuma longa plant, has received great attention over the past two decades as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer agent. In this review, a summary of the medicinal chemistry and pharmacology of curcumin and its derivatives in regard to anticancer activity, their main mechanisms of action, and cellular targets has been provided based on the literature data from the experimental and clinical evaluation of curcumin in cancer cell lines, animal models, and human subjects. In addition, the recent advances in the drug delivery systems for curcumin delivery to cancer cells have been highlighted.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1033
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 27 Feb 2019


  • curcumin
  • anticancer
  • structure activity relationship
  • cellular pathway
  • mechanism of action
  • delivery system
  • UKRI
  • EP/N007174/1
  • EP/N023579/1

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