Nanoparticulate Drug Delivery System to Overcome the Limitations of Conventional Curcumin in the Treatment of Various Cancers: A Review
Moorthi Chidambaram and Kathiresan Krishnasamy
Pages 116-127 (12)
Cancer is one of the major causes of the death worldwide and its prevalence is expected to reach about 27 million
by 2050 due to aging, adoption of cancer causing behaviours and limitations of cancer treatment. The major therapeutic
approach for the treatment of cancer is chemotherapy but most chemotherapeutic agents experience some limitations
including poor aqueous solubility, systemic toxicities and drug resistance. The better alternative seems to be functional
foods, which are devoid of systemic toxicities at the therapeutic doses. Curcumin is one such functional food isolated from
dried rhizome of turmeric and reported to inhibit proliferation, invasion, angiogenesis and metastasis of various cancer
cells. However, the clinical usefulness of curcumin in the treatment of cancer is limited due to limited solubility in water,
hydrolytic degradation in alkaline pH, metabolism via glucuronidation and sulfation and reduced oral bioavailability.
Various approaches have been reported to overcome the limitation of conventional curcumin. Of all, nanotechnology is
the most recent and showing encouraging results. This review highlighted the nanoparticulate drug delivery systems that
have been developed to overcome the limitations of curcumin in the treatment of cancer. However, about 60-70% of an
oral dose of curcumin gets eliminated as its metabolites and there were no reports of nanoparticulate drug delivery system
that overcome the metabolism of curcumin. Bio-enhancer such as piperine, quercetin and silibinin prevent/minimize the
metabolism of curcumin and utilizing these bio-enhancers along with curcumin as a dual drug loaded nanoparticles are
hypothesized to overcome all the limitations of curcumin.
Cancer, curcumin, functional food, nanoparticle, nanoparticulate drug delivery system, piperine, quercetin,
Department of Pharmacy, Annamalai University, Annamalai Nagar, Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu 608 002 India.