Versatile role of curcumin and its derivatives in lung cancer therapy

Lung Cancer

Ashrafizadeh M, et al. J Cell Physiol 2020 - Review.


Lung cancer is a main cause of death all over the world with a high incidence rate. Metastasis into neighboring and distant tissues as well as resistance of cancer cells to chemotherapy demand novel strategies in lung cancer therapy. Curcumin is a naturally occurring nutraceutical compound derived from Curcuma longa (turmeric) that has great pharmacological effects, such as anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, and antidiabetic. The excellent antitumor activity of curcumin has led to its extensive

application in the treatment of various cancers. In the present review, we describe the antitumor activity of curcumin against lung cancer. Curcumin affects different molecular pathways such as vascular endothelial growth factors, nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), mammalian target of rapamycin, PI3/Akt, microRNAs, and long noncoding RNAs in treatment of lung cancer. Curcumin also can induce autophagy, apoptosis, and cell cycle arrest to reduce the viability and proliferation of lung cancer cells. Notably, curcumin supplementation sensitizes cancer cells to chemotherapy and enhances chemotherapy-mediated apoptosis. Curcumin can elevate the efficacy of radiotherapy in lung cancer therapy by targeting various signaling pathways, such as epidermal growth factor receptor and NF-κB. Curcumin-loaded nanocarriers enhance the bioavailability, cellular uptake, and antitumor activity of curcumin. The aforementioned effects are comprehensively discussed in the current review to further direct studies for applying curcumin in lung cancer therapy.