CURCUMIN NANO-THERAPEUTICS FOR CANCER CHEMOTHERAPY: PROMISES AND CHALLENGES FOR THE FUTURE
*Malay K. Das and Tapash Chakraborty
Cancer is one of the leading cause of death in the world. As our environment is being flooded with different carcinogenic agents, today everyone is in high risk of generating cancer in some part of our lifetime. Conventional therapies cause widespread systemic toxicity serious side effects. Tumour resistance and recurrence can also be commonly observed. Hence there is an urgent need to develop smart anticancer therapies that are highly precise in killing cancer cells with minimal side effects on normal cells. Curcumin is a natural polyphenol molecule derived from the Curcuma longa plant which exhibits anticancer, chemo-preventive, chemo- and radio-sensitization properties. Curcumin‟s widespread availability, safety, low cost and multiple cancer fighting functions justify its development as a drug for cancer treatment. But curcumin has limited efficacy due to its low water solubility, poor bioavailability, rapid metabolism in body etc. Various nanomedicine(s) prepared using first line anticancer drugs have been approved or are under consideration by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to improve human health. Nanotechnology strategies may help to remove the drawbacks to use Curcumin as an anti-cancer agent. Review of research papers shows that different types of nanocarriers of curcumin is able to leverage therapeutic benefits by improving bioavailability and pharmacokinetics which in turn improves binding, internalization and targeting of tumour(s). Such new approaches to use Curcumin as an mainstream anti-cancer agent are expected to lead to clinical trials and to improve cancer therapeutics.
Keywords: Curcumin, Cancer, Nanoparticles, Chemotherapy, Nanomedicines.
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