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Therapeutic potential of novel formulated forms of curcumin in the treatment of breast cancer by the targeting of cellular and physiological dysregulated pathways

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Journal of Cellular Physiology

Published online on


Breast cancer is among the most important causes of cancer related death in women. There is a need for novel agents for targeting key signaling pathways to either improve the efficacy of the current therapy, or reduce toxicity. There is some evidence that curcumin may have antitumor activity in breast cancer. Several clinical trials have investigated its activity in patients with breast cancer, including a recent trial in breast cancer patients receiving radiotherapy, in whom it was shown that curcumin reduced the severity of radiation dermatitis, although it is associated with low bioavailability. Several approaches have been developed to increase its absorption rate (e.g., nano crystals, liposomes, polymers, and micelles) and co‐delivery of curcumin with adjuvants as well as different conjugation to enhance its bioavailability. In particular, micro‐emulsions is an option for transdermal curcumin delivery, which has been reported to increase its absorption. Lipid‐based nano‐micelles is another approach to enhance curcumin absorption via gastrointestinal tract, while polymer‐based nano‐formulations (e.g., poly D, L‐lactic‐co‐glycolic [PLGA]) allows the release of curcumin at a sustained level. This review summarizes the current data of the therapeutic potential of novel formulations of curcumin with particular emphasis on recent preclinical and clinical studies in the treatment of breast cancer.