DOI: 10.21276/ajptr
Thu, 23 May 2019

Curcumin: In-Vitro Anticancer Activity and Novel Drug Delivery Systems

Rajashree Hirlekar*1, Samruddhi Rane1

1 VES college of Pharmacy, Hashu Advani memorial complex, behind collector colony, Chembur, Mumbai-400 074, Maharashtra, India.


Curcumin has been identified as a major constituent in turmeric. It has been used in traditional medicine for liver disease (jaundice), indigestion, urinary tract diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, and insect bites. Numerous studies have demonstrated the in-vitro anticancer effect of curcumin. Curcumin inhibits several different cellular targets like nuclear factor- kappa B (NF-ĸB); this in turn induces apoptosis and blocks the function of protein kinase C. The major problem associated with curcumin is its poor aqueous solubility resulting in its poor bioavailability at the tumor site. Therefore, improvement in stability, solubility and bioactivity is needed. The current review discusses the activity of curcumin on various types of cancer along with the advances in the drug delivery systems designed to improve curcumin delivery. These newly developed formulations improve the drug bioavailability and effectiveness. Numerous formulations of curcumin have been developed like microcapsules, β-cyclodextrin inclusion complexes, nanoparticles and others such drug delivery systems.

Keywords: Aqueous solubility, curcumin, cellular targets, nanoparticles, types of cancer 

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