The Therapeutic and Preventive Efficacy of Curcumin and Its Derivatives in Esophageal Cancer

Document Type : Systematic Review and Meta-analysis


1 Department of Biochemistry All India Institute of Medical Sciences Delhi, New Delhi India.

2 Department of Medical Oncology BRAIRCH All India Institute of Medical Sciences Delhi, New Delhi, India.

3 Department of Microbiology Gargi College University of Delhi, New Delhi, India.


Esophageal cancer is the eighth most common occurring cancer type worldwide and 6th most common among
the cancer related deaths of which the most common type is squamous cell carcinoma which comprise about 90%
of esophageal cancer cases. The standard of care for esophageal cancer is neoadjuvant concurrent chemotherapy and
radiation (NACRT) followed by surgery however the prognosis remains dismal with 5 year survival a meager 10-15%.
The treatment modalities for esophageal cancer is associated with both long term and short term toxicities. Curcumin
has been explored as a therapeutic modality as a chemo adjuvant in different cancers due to its low toxicity profile and
potent anticancer effect however despite lot of promising preclinical data it has not progressed from bench side to bed
side. The primary reason that has obstructed its application in clinic has been its low bioavailability which was seen
in different clinical trials but there has been tremendous progress in developing formulations of curcumin which have
significantly increased its bioavailability and are being tested in clinical trials. Esophageal cancer is associated with
inflammation that’s why curcumin being a natural antioxidant offer a potential avenue to reduce toxicity of current
therapeutic modalities in a chemo adjuvant setting while simultaneously targeting different pro oncogenic pathways.
The present review tries to cover in depth different aspects of curcumin application in treatment of esophageal cancer
and progress of this potent anticancer agent in its treatment and prevention.


Main Subjects