Cancer is a multifactorial disease that requires treatments able to target multiple intracellular components and signaling pathways. The natural compound, curcumin, was already described as a promising anticancer agent due to its multipotent properties and huge amount of molecular targets in vitro
. Its translation to the clinic is, however, limited by its reduced solubility and bioavailability in patients. In order to overcome these pharmacokinetic deficits of curcumin, several strategies, such as the design of synthetic analogs, the combination with specific adjuvants or nano-formulations, have been developed. By taking into account the risk-benefit profile of drug combinations, as well as the knowledge about curcumin’s structure-activity relationship, a new concept for the combination of curcumin with scaffolds from different natural products or components has emerged. The concept of a hybrid curcumin molecule is based on the incorporation or combination of curcumin with specific antibodies, adjuvants or other natural products already used or not in conventional chemotherapy, in one single molecule. The high diversity of such conjugations enhances the selectivity and inherent biological activities and properties, as well as the efficacy of the parental compound, with particular emphasis on improving the efficacy of curcumin for future clinical treatments.
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