Curcumin a Natural Phenol and Its Therapeutic Role in Cancer and Photodynamic Therapy: A Review

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Cancer continues to cause an alarming number of deaths globally, and its burden on the health system is significant. Though different conventional therapeutic procedures are exploited for cancer treatment, the prevalence and death rates remain elevated. These, therefore, insinuate that novel and more efficient treatment procedures are needed for cancer. Curcumin, a bioactive, natural, phenolic compound isolated from the rhizome of the herbaceous plant turmeric, is receiving great interest for its exciting and broad pharmacological properties. Curcumin presents anticancer therapeutic capacities and can be utilized as a photosensitizing drug in cancer photodynamic therapy (PDT). Nonetheless, curcumin′s poor bioavailability and related pharmacokinetics limit its clinical utility in cancer treatment. This review looks at the physical and chemical properties, bioavailability, and safety of curcumin, while focusing on curcumin as an agent in cancer therapy and as a photosensitizer in cancer PDT. The possible mechanisms and cellular targets of curcumin in cancer therapy and PDT are highlighted. Furthermore, recent improvements in curcumin’s bioavailability in cancer therapy using nanoformulations and delivery systems are presented.

Original languageEnglish
Article number639
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023


  • bioavailability
  • cancer therapy
  • curcumin
  • mechanisms of action
  • nanotechnology
  • natural photosensitize
  • photodynamic therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Curcumin a Natural Phenol and Its Therapeutic Role in Cancer and Photodynamic Therapy: A Review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this