Synergistic role of curcumin with current therapeutics in colorectal cancer: minireview.

Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Karmanos Cancer Institute, Department of Internal Medicine, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan 48201, USA.
Nutrition and Cancer (Impact Factor: 2.47). 11/2009; 61(6):842-6. DOI: 10.1080/01635580903285106
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Despite the use of surgical resection and aggressive chemotherapy, nearly 50% of patients with colorectal carcinoma develop recurrent disease, highlighting the need for improved therapies. Curcumin (diferuloylmethane), the major active ingredient of turmeric (curcuma longa) with no discernable toxicity, has been shown to inhibit the growth of transformed cells and colon carcinogenesis at the initiation, promotion, and progression stages in carcinogen-induced rodent models. In a Phase I clinical trial, curcumin has been found to be extremely well tolerated and effective. In this review, we summarized the current status of our knowledge about the effectiveness of curcumin when given in combination with current chemotherapeutics such as 5-fluorouracil, oxaliplatin, and gemcitabine in treatment of gastrointestinal cancers with particular reference to colorectal cancer. Existing data suggest that curcumin in combination with chemotherapy is a superior strategy for treatment of gastrointestinal cancer.

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