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Curcumin Combination Chemotherapy: The Implication In Cancer

Immunotherapy with targeted therapy, chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery are some of the most prevalent cancer treatments. Among these modalities, chemotherapy is still one of the most effective treatments. In traditional or standard chemotherapy, cytotoxic drugs that are capable of killing tumour cells are used to treat cancer patients. However, due to the heterogeneity of cancer cells, the efficacy and application of existing anticancer chemotherapeutic medications frequently fail to achieve complete cancer remission. It also exhibit limited efficacy due to dose-limiting toxicity to patients, and the development of multidrug resistance. According to studies, the anticancer efficacy of a few chemotherapeutic medications does kill the toxic cancer cells. Although in the longer run, it may increase the risk of cardiovascular toxicity and cause unacceptable toxicity to normal human cells. As a result, cancer patients do require a chemotherapy regimen that could improve clinical results.

Effects of curcumin in enhancing cancer treatment

To address the side effects of chemotherapy, combining conventional chemotherapeutic drugs with natural chemicals to achieve synergistic antitumor effectiveness is indeed a promising method.

Curcumin: A promising cancer therapy agent

Natural products containing secondary metabolites have emerged as promising cancer therapy agents. Curcumin is one of the secondary metabolites of Turmeric. Curcumin is an active chemical with yellow phenolic pigment obtained from the dietary spice turmeric, which is scientifically known as Curcuma longa. This spice comes from the Zingiberaceae plant family, which is native to Southeast and Southern Asia. Turmeric helps in the treatment of numerous disorders and metabolic problems, including certain cancer diseases, cough, skin wounds, and inflammation, in addition to its coloring, taste, and preservation capabilities in the diet.

Curcumin contains a variety of pharmacological effects

As per findings, curcumin contains a variety of pharmacological effects, including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anticancer characteristics.  Several animal studies have looked into the safety of turmeric as an anti-cancer therapy. Curcumin provides a number of advantages over typical chemotherapy medications, including broad anticancer activity and fewer severe side effects. According to the findings of a recent study, pre-treatment with curcumin followed by a chemotherapeutic agent boosted the cancer cells’ susceptibility to the chemotherapeutic drug’s cytotoxicity. Indeed, the molecular processes underlying the anticancer action of curcumin and chemotherapy in combination are complex and deserve additional investigation.

Curcumin has several pharmacological effects

Curcumin and its analogues have several pharmacological effects, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer activities. Curcumin’s anticancer action is one of its most well-known qualities. Curcumin causes apoptosis and antiproliferative effects in a variety of cancer cell lines, including prostate, breast, colorectal, pancreatic, and kidney cancers. It lowers Bcl-2 expression and suppress the telomerase reverse transcriptase enzyme. It interacts with proteins involved in angiogenesis, metastasis, and cell survival, as well as signaling pathways in cancer cells.

Curcumin affects a variety of molecular and cellular pathways

It affects a variety of molecular and cellular pathways, including cell death, mitogen-activated protein kinases, and others. These targets are important in cancer pathogenesis, and misregulation of this system can contribute to cancer development and initiation. In addition to this, MicroRNAs are short non-coding RNAs that play an important role in a variety of physiological processes, including differentiation, proliferation, angiogenesis, and apoptotic. Dysregulation of these molecules can upregulate and downregulate a variety of cellular and molecular targets, resulting in cancer growth. According to findings, curcumin appears to have anticancer benefits by targeting various microRNA expressions.

Despite the fact that significant research has demonstrated that curcumin induces cytotoxicity against cancer cells in a variety of ways, curcumin combined chemotherapy is more likely to boost cancer cells’ synergistic response to treatment.

Curcumin reduces side-effect of chemotherapy

Chemotherapeutic medicines such as doxorubicin, irinotecan, 5-fluorouracil, cisplatin, and paclitaxel help in cancer treatments. However, chemotherapy efficacy is restricted due to the development of drug resistance and unfavorable effects. Curcumin, a natural anticancer molecule, improves pharmacological treatment efficiency while reducing side effects. It has cytotoxic and chemopreventive properties in a range of cancer cell lines in nature. Curcumin contains several molecular pathways that target all phases of carcinogenesis in animal models of cancer. However, curcumin’s insolubility in water and low stability have limited the amount of curcumin absorbed and its bioavailability.


Recently, nanoencapsulation has emerged as a promising approach for enhancing the therapeutic potential of existing medications. By sensitising cancer cells to chemotherapeutic medications, co-delivery of nanoparticle-based curcumin and chemotherapy has proven efficient in boosting intracellular drug concentration and enhancing the synergistic effect in cancer therapy. This simultaneous injection improves anticancer activity while reducing the need for chemotherapy. It reduces the negative impact of medications. This evidence could pave the way for a beneficial cancer-fighting strategy, assuming that the strategy includes a low-dose side-effect regimen.


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