Curcumin: Towards molecularly targeted chemoprevention of cancer

Ulrich Pfeffer, Adriana Amaro, Beatrice Bachmeier, Giovanna Angelini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Everybody is at risk for cancer yet environmental factors, life style and diet as well as genetic factors influence the individual cancer risk. Targeted or personalized cancer prevention is based on the knowledge of the molecular characteristics of the tumor to be prevented, the molecular mechanisms of action of the compounds to be used and the genetic make-up of the person who opts for prevention medicine. Genetic factors are to a certain extent specific for cancer types or even subtypes as it has been shown for breast cancer. The growing knowledge of such genotype cancer risk associations will allow for the definition of personalized prevention strategies. Prevention in intermediate risk populations requires non-toxic, well tolerated and cheap compounds, such as Curcumin. Its main activity is the inhibition of nuclear factor kappa B (NFkB) activation. NFkB is involved in many cancers where it acts through the generation of chronic inflammation that can be contrasted with anti-inflammatory drugs such as Curcumin. Targeted prevention of cancer also increases the possibility to conduct serious clinical experimentation with target based patient selection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-26
Number of pages7
JournalNew Horizons in Translational Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Cancer risk
  • COX2
  • Inflammation
  • Polyphenols
  • SNP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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