Recent findings on the molecular basis of ovarian cancer development and progression create new opportunities to develop anticancer medications that would affect specific metabolic pathways and decrease side systemic toxicity of conventional treatment. Among new possibilities for cancer chemoprevention, much attention is paid to curcumin—A broad-spectrum anticancer polyphenolic derivative extracted from the rhizome of Curcuma longa
L. According to ClinicalTrials.gov at present there are no running pilot studies, which could assess possible therapeutic benefits from curcumin supplementation to patients with primary epithelial ovarian cancer. Therefore, the goal of this review was to evaluate potential preclinical properties of curcumin and its new analogues on the basis of in vivo
and in vitro
studies. Curcumin and its different formulations have been shown to display multifunctional mechanisms of anticancer activity, not only in platinum-resistant primary epithelial ovarian cancer, but also in multidrug resistant cancer cells/xenografts models. Curcumin administered together with platinum-taxane chemotherapeutics have been reported to demonstrate synergistic effects, sensitize resistant cells to drugs, and decrease their biologically effective doses. An accumulating body of evidence suggests that curcumin, due to its long-term safety and an excellent profile of side effects should be considered as a beneficial support in ovarian cancer treatment strategies, especially in patients with platinum-resistant primary epithelial recurrent ovarian cancer or multidrug resistant disease. Although the prospect of curcumin and its formulations as anticancer agents in ovarian cancer treatment strategy appears to be challenging, and at the same time promising, there is a further need to evaluate its effectiveness in clinical studies.
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