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Evaluation of the expression of angiogenic factors in breast cancer after curcumin treatment


Angiogenesis plays an important role in the pathogenesis of several malignancies, including breast cancer. Tumor growth requires the formation of new blood vessels that are stimulated by angiogenic factors, which initiates the sprouting and proliferation of endothelial cells. Curcumin is used as food and in traditional medicine, however evidences indicate that rhizome has anticancer effects against different types of cancers. We evaluated the effects of curcumin treatment on angiogenesis in breast cancer.

Materials and methods

Breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231 was cultured in vitro in DMEM high glucose at 37°C in 5% CO2. Cell viability was measured by MTT assay with three concentrations of curcumin (10ug, 20ug and 40ug), in 4 hours and 24 hours. In vivo, cells were injected subcutaneously in mammary gland in athymic nude mice, and each animal received daily 7,5mg of curcumin administred intraperitoneally. Tumor size was measured weekly and angiogenic factors were evaluated in breast tumors.


There was a significantly decrease in cells viability after treatment with curcumin (all concentrations). In addition, results showed that 40ug of curcumin was able to reduced 88% of cell viability after 24 hours. Furthermore, the action of curcumin as anti-angiogenic agent was tested in breast cancer xenografts established in nude mice.


The highest dose of curcumin was considered the optimal concentration for in vitro treatment. This study was an innovative way to evaluate the potential effectiveness of curcumin in the control of angiogenesis in breast cancer.

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Correspondence to Lívia C Ferreira.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Ferreira, L.C., Jardim, B.V., Borin, T.F. et al. Evaluation of the expression of angiogenic factors in breast cancer after curcumin treatment. BMC Proc 7 (Suppl 2), P40 (2013).

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