A Review of Curcumin in Head and Neck Cancer

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Wilken R, Veena MS, Wang MB, Srivatsan ES.
Curcumin: A review of anti-cancer properties and therapeutic activity in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Mol Cancer. 2011 Feb 7;10:12. Review.
PubMed PMID: 21299897.

The authors, from the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, present an overview of data on therapeutic activity of curcumin (diferuloylmethane, derived from Curcuma longa), commonly known as turmeric, in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, the sixth most common cancer worldwide.

From the abstract:

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.

After an overview of head and neck cancer and the current therapeutic options, the authors describe curcumin in detail and the current preclinical and clinical data on its anti-cancer effects. the conclude that “curcumin is both nontoxic as well as diversified in its inhibitory effects on a multitude of pathways involved in carcinogenesis and tumor formation.”

Free full text is available via PubMed. A list of open clinical trials of curcumin in cancer can be found at ClinicalTrials.gov.

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