Curcumin as a multifaceted compound against human papilloma virus infection and cervical cancers: A review of chemistry, cellular, molecular, and preclinical features.
Biofactors. 2016 Nov 29. Epub 2016 Nov 29. PMID: 27896883
Curcumin, the bioactive polyphenolic ingredient of turmeric, has been extensively studied for its effects on human papilloma virus (HPV) infection as well as primary and malignant squamous cervical cancers. HPV infections, especially those related to HPV 16 and 18 types, have been established as the leading cause of cervical cancer; however, there are also additional contributory factors involved in the etiopathogenesis of cervical cancers. Curcumin has emerged as having promising chemopreventive and anticancer effects against both HPV-related and nonrelated cervical cancers. In this review, we first discuss the biological relevance of curcumin and both its pharmacological effects and pharmaceutical considerations from a chemical point of view. Next, the signaling pathways that are modulated by curcumin and are relevant to the elimination of HPV infection and treatment of cervical cancer are discussed. We also present counter arguments regarding the effects of curcumin on signaling pathways and molecular markers dysregulated by benzo(a)pyrene (Bap), a carcinogen found in pathological cervical lesions of women who smoke frequently, and estradiol, as two important risk factors involved in persistent HPV-infection and cervical cancer. Finally, various strategies to enhance the pharmacological activity and pharmacokinetic characteristics of curcumin are discussed with examples of studies in experimental models of cervical cancer.© 2016 BioFactors, 2016.