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Chemopreventive potential of curcumin in prostate cancer

The long latency and high incidence of prostate carcinogenesis provides the opportunity to intervene with chemoprevention in order to prevent or eradicate prostate malignancies. We present here an overview of the chemopreventive potential of curcumin (diferuloylmethane), a well-known natural compound that exhibits therapeutic promise for prostate cancer. In fact, it interferes with prostate cancer proliferation and metastasis development through the down-regulation of androgen receptor and epidermal growth factor receptor, but also through the induction of cell cycle arrest. It regulates the inflammatory response through the inhibition of pro-inflammatory mediators and the NF-κB signaling pathway. These results are consistent with this compound’s ability to up-induce pro-apoptotic proteins and to down-regulate the anti-apoptotic counterparts. Alone or in combination with TRAIL-mediated immunotherapy or radiotherapy, curcumin is also reported to be a good inducer of prostate cancer cell death by apoptosis. Curcumin appears thus as a non-toxic alternative for prostate cancer prevention, treatment or co-treatment.