Is curcumin the answer to future chemotherapy cocktail?

Wei Yang Kong, Siew Ching Ngai, Bey Hing Goh, Learn Han Lee, Thet Thet Htar, Lay Hong Chuah

Research output: Journal PublicationReview articlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The rise in cancer cases in recent years is an alarming situation worldwide. Despite the tremendous research and invention of new cancer therapies, the clinical outcomes are not always reassuring. Cancer cells could develop several evasive mechanisms for their survivability and render therapeutic failure. The continuous use of conventional cancer therapies leads to chemoresistance, and a higher dose of treatment results in even greater toxicities among cancer patients. Therefore, the search for an alternative treatment modality is crucial to break this viscous cycle. This paper explores the suitability of curcumin combination treatment with other cancer therapies to curb cancer growth. We provide a critical insight to the mechanisms of action of curcumin, its role in combination therapy in various cancers, along with the molecular targets involved. Curcumin combination treatments were found to enhance anticancer effects, mediated by the multitargeting of several signalling pathways by curcumin and the co-administered cancer therapies. The preclinical and clinical evidence in curcumin combination therapy is critically analysed, and the future research direction of curcumin combination therapy is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4329
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Anticancer
  • Cancer
  • Chemotherapy cocktail
  • Combination therapy
  • Curcumin
  • Signalling pathways

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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