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Curcumin: A review of anti-cancer properties and therapeutic activity in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma *

Curcumin (diferuloylmethane) is a polyphenol derived from the
Curcuma longa
plant, commonly known as
turmeric. Curcumin has been used extensively in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries, as it is nontoxic and has a
variety of therapeutic properties including anti-oxidant, analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic activity. More
recently curcumin has been found to possess anti-cancer activities via its effect on a variety of biological pathways
involved in mutagenesis, oncogene expression, cell cycle regulation, apoptosis, tumorigenesis and metastasis.
Curcumin has shown anti-proliferative effect in multiple cancers, and is an inhibitor of the transcription factor NF-
B and downstream gene products (including c-myc, Bcl-2, COX-2, NOS, Cyclin D1, TNF-
, interleukins and MMP-9).
In addition, curcumin affects a variety of growth factor receptors and cell adhesion molecules involved in tumor
growth, angiogenesis and metastasis. Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is the sixth most common
cancer worldwide and treatment protocols include disfiguring surgery, platinum-based chemotherapy and
radiation, all of which may result in tremendous patient morbidity. As a result, there is significant interest in
developing adjuvant chemotherapies to augment currently available treatment protocols, which may allow
decreased side effects and toxicity without compromising therapeutic efficacy. Curcumin is one such potential
candidate, and this review presents an overview of the current in vitro and in vivo data supporting its therapeutic
activity in head and neck cancer as well as some of the challenges concerning its development as an adjuvant
chemotherapeutic agent.

* Legal Disclaimer: Chelation and Hyperbaric Therapy, Stem Cell Therapy, and other treatments and modalities mentioned or referred to in this web site are medical techniques that may or may not be considered “mainstream”. As with any medical treatment, results will vary among individuals, and there is no implication or guarantee that you will heal or achieve the same outcome as patients herein.

As with any procedure, there could be pain or other substantial risks involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing.

THE INFORMATION IN THIS WEBSITE IS OFFERED FOR GENERAL EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT IMPLY OR GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE. No Doctor/Patient relationship shall be deemed to have arisen simply by reading the information contained on these pages, and you should consult with your personal physician/care giver regarding your medical treatment before undergoing any sort of treatment or therapy.

Published on 08-12-2013