Therapeutic Potential of Curcumin for the Treatment of Malignant Gliomas

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Blake C. Walker
Srijan Adhikari
Sandeep Mittal


Glioblastoma is the most common primary malignancy of the central nervous system. Maximal surgical resection of glioblastoma in addition to temozolomide and fractionated radiation therapy provides an overall median survival of approximately 15 months. The addition of tumor-treating fields (Optune therapy) has the potential to increase median survival to 20 months, although compliance and ease of use remain an issue. Glioblastoma remains a devastating diagnosis fraught with complications. Curcumin is a yellow pigment from the rhizome of the ubiquitous and commercially available spice, turmeric (Curcuma longa). Turmeric has been long used in Indian traditional medicines and has been established as a safe food additive by the US Food and Drug Administration. There is a wealth of in vitro data suggesting that turmeric’s main active component, curcumin, has many favorable effects on glioblastoma. Curcumin has been shown to potentiate the effects of chemotherapy and radiation, decrease malignant spread, protect normal tissue from oxidative stress, and regulate many genetic targets resulting in glioblastoma cell death. Curcumin’s positive safety profile and potential therapeutic effects on glioblastoma make it a promising potential adjunct to current standard treatment regimens.


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Chapter 8