Nutraceuticals as new treatment approaches for oral cancer-I: Curcumin

Ayelet Zlotogorski, Aliza Dayan, Dan Dayan*, Gavriel Chaushu, Tuula Salo, Marilena Vered

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is a growing global public health problem for which standard therapeutic strategies have failed to contribute significantly to improve the survival rates that have remained around 50% over the past three decades. Therefore, there is a pressing need for new therapeutic strategies. Curcumin is a natural dietary compound with known anti-neoplastic activities, hence its classification as a nutraceutical agent. This review presents the current in vitro and in vivo studies in which curcumin has been examined for its anti-cancer potential in treating OSCC. Its mechanisms of action are also beginning to become unveiled. The available studies have been focusing on the impact of curcumin on epithelial malignant cells, but overlooking the components of the tumor microenvironment. Curcumin has been emerging as a promising therapeutic agent in oral cancer, either alone or in combination with standard therapeutic agents, and will probably become of practical use once its route of administration has overcome its poor bioavailability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-191
Number of pages5
JournalOral Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2013


  • Anti-cancer activity
  • Bioavailability
  • Chemotherapy
  • Curcumin
  • Nuclear Factor-κB (NF-κB)
  • Nutraceuticals
  • Oral cancer
  • Radiotherapy


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