Hépato-Gastro & Oncologie Digestive


Antineoplastic properties of curcumin in colorectal cancer – Current issue and prospects Volume 23, issue 4, Avril 2016


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1 Hôpital Avicenne,
laboratoire de pharmacologie,
125 route de Stalingrad,
93009 Bobigny,
2 Hôpital Avicenne,
service de gastro-entérologie,
125 route de Stalingrad,
93009 Bobigny,
* Tirés à part

Curcumin is the main component of the Indian spice curcuma (Indian saffron, English name turmeric), extracted from its root. Curcumin is eaten almost daily as food in India. It has also been used as a drug in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. This polyphenol has pleiotropic effects, interfering with many signaling molecules : pro-inflammatory molecules, transcription factors, enzymes, protein kinases, transport proteins, proteins involved in cell survival, adhesion molecules, growth factors, receptors, proteins regulating cell cycle, chemokines, DNA, RNA… Oral bioavailability of traditional forms of curcumin is low, making it particularly suitable for therapy of diseases of the intestinal tract. Curcumin has anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic properties, making it an excellent candidate as chemo-preventive agent in colorectal cancer. Contrasting with many in vitro studies of curcumin and a lot of in vivo studies on animal models, there are only a few clinical studies in digestive oncology. However, several clinical trials are in progress in this domain. Presently, curcumin has no recognized therapeutic indication.