Potential Role of the Natural Multi-Targeted Agent Curcumin in the Treatment of Oral Diseases
Authors: Natale D’Alessandro and Manuela Labbozzetta
Abstract: We critically review the current data on the therapeutic effects and basic biological activities of the natural compound curcumin on various oral diseases: a sound experimental evidence appears to support its possible use against relevant pathologies which include cancer, radiotherapy- and chemotherapy-induced mucositis, lichen planus and periodontitis. This versatility of curcumin depends on its ability of interacting with multiple targets, though inhibition of the transcription factor NF-B can be identified as one of the principal mechanisms. The therapeutic potentialities of curcumin in oral medicine have, however, to be further verified, in particular by more human ad hoc in vivo studies. An important aspect that remains to resolve is that of improving by adequate approaches the topical or systemic delivery of the drug to the target tissues. At present there is also a very active search for the synthesis of new curcumin derivatives endowed with improved pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic characteristics.