Targeted Oncology

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 295–310 | Cite as

Curcumin and lung cancer—a review

  • Hiren J. Mehta
  • Vipul Patel
  • Ruxana T. SadikotEmail author


Curcumin (diferuloylmethane) is the most important component of the spice turmeric and is derived from the rhizome of the East Indian plant Curcuma longa. Curcumin has been used extensively in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries, as it is nontoxic and has a variety of therapeutic properties including antioxidant, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic activities. Recently, curcumin has been widely studied for its anticancer properties via its effects on a variety of biological pathways involved in apoptosis, tumor proliferation, chemo- and radiotherapy sensitization, tumor invasion, and metastases. Curcumin can be an effective adjunct in treating solid organ tumors due to its properties of regulating oncogenes like p53, egr-1, c-myc, bcl-XL, etc.; transcription factors like NF-kB, STAT-3, and AP-1; protein kinases like MAPK; and enzymes like COX and LOX. Lung cancer is the most common malignancy worldwide and a leading cause of cancer-related deaths. Seventy-five percent of lung cancer presents at an advanced stage where the existing treatment is not very effective and may result in tremendous patient morbidity. As a result, there is a significant interest in developing adjunctive 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 studies of curcumin in lung cancer.


Lung cancer Curcumin p53 egr-1 c-myc bcl-XL NF-kB STAT-3 AP-1 MAPK COX LOX 


Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland (outside the USA) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hiren J. Mehta
    • 1
  • Vipul Patel
    • 1
  • Ruxana T. Sadikot
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, Department of MedicineUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Veterans AffairsMalcolm Randall NF/SG VHSGainesvilleUSA

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