The potential role of curcumin in prostate cancer: the importance of optimizing pharmacokinetics in clinical studies

Keith T. Schmidt, William D. Figg


Curcumin, a commercially available nutritional supplement, has been studied for use as a chemopreventive agent and an anti-cancer therapy in prostate cancer (1). The anti-tumor activity of curcumin and its analogues are well-documented from preclinical studies using prostate cancer models, including its effects on androgen receptor (AR) signaling and numerous downstream targets (e.g., VEGF, PTEN, NF-κB) (2-7). Curcumin was shown to down-regulate AR expression, limit AR binding to the androgen response element of the prostate specific antigen (PSA) gene, and reduce the expression of PSA in LNCaP cells (2). Pyridine analogues of curcumin were shown to have an inhibitory effect on CWR-22Rv1 AR activity and cell growth (5).