Curcumin inhibits tumor growth and angiogenesis in ovarian carcinoma by targeting the nuclear factor-kappaB pathway

Clin Cancer Res.  2007; 13(11):3423-30.


Ovarian cancer remains the leading cause of death (ranks 8th) from gynecologic cancer. It has been understood that risk of ovarian cancer increases in women who have ovulated more over their lifetime. This includes those who have never had children, those who begin ovulation at a younger age or reach menopause at an older age. A diagnosis of ovarian cancer is confirmed through a biopsy of tissue, usually removed during surgery.
Currently, the standard care approach includes primary surgical cytoreduction followed by cytotoxic chemotherapy, where recurrence is the major problem.

Hence, to treat the ovarian cancer in a better way with minimal side effects, scientists have now focused on natural products like curcumin.



To evaluate the effect of Curcumin, a component of turmeric, to suppress inflammation and angiogenesis largely by inhibiting the transcription factor nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB).


Study Design:

 Human ovarian cell lines were treated with known dosage of curcumin alone and in combination with docetaxel. The NF-κB modulation was ascertained using electrophoretic mobility shift assay. Evaluation of angiogenic cytokines, cellular proliferation (proliferating cell nuclear antigen), angiogenesis and apoptosis was done using immunohistochemical analyses.



  1. Curcumin inhibited inducible NF-κB activation and suppressed proliferation.
  2. Curcumin reduced signal transducers and activators of transcription-3 activation and angiogenic cytokine expression.
  3. Curcumin and docetaxel each reduced the tumor growth but the tumor growth was less when treated in combination.
  4. The same effect was seen in multidrug resistant cell lines.



 Based on these results it was concluded that curcumin-based therapies may be beneficial in patients with ovarian carcinoma with less side effects.

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