Curcumin is derived from the Indian Spice turmeric, and has been shown to interfere with multiple cell signaling pathways in cancer cells, including ability to survive, proliferate, invade, metastasize, and the creation of blood vessels and inflammation.

There is reported activity of curcumin against leukemia and lymphoma, gastrointestinal cancers, genitourinary cancers, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, lung cancer, melanoma, neurological cancers, and sarcoma. Successful oral absorption of curcumin is often difficult, requiring a lipid (fatty) medium or one with black pepper.

Although oral administration has been shown to provide some benefit, less than ideal absorption does not always allow maximal benefit. Intravenous curcumin, given in liposomal (fat-encapsulated) form bypasses the need for gut absorption and is a novel and promising adjunct to the care of the cancer and chronically ill patient population.

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