Overall, our review shows that curcumin can kill a wide variety of tumor cell types through diverse mechanisms. Because of numerous mechanisms of cell death employed by curcumin, it is possible that cells may not develop resistance to curcumin-induced cell death. Furthermore, its ability to kill tumor cells and not normal cells makes curcumin an attractive candidate for drug development. Although numerous animal studies and clinical trials have been done, additional studies are needed to gain the full benefit from curcumin.
Curcumin and Cancer Cells: How Many Ways Can Curry Kill Tumor Cells Selectively?
Jayaraj Ravindran, Sahdeo Prasad, and Bharat B. Aggarwal
Cytokine Research Laboratory, Department of Experimental Therapeutics, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
When I was a shy and retiring second year medical student I remember timidly asking my pharmacology tutor at the end of a tutorial what he thought about the fact that turmeric was used to promote healing in India and whether it was worth looking into; he completely dismissed the idea that there might be any pharmacological basis to the supposedly curative properties of turmeric.
It is extremely unlikely that my erstwhile tutor remembers this conversation, which is indelibly imprinted in my mind, but I do feel vindicated when I read about the anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic and anti- everything else qualities of curcumin.