Curcumin, a main bioactive component of the L. rhizome, is a phenolic compound that exerts a wide range of beneficial effects, acting as an antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticancer agent. This review summarizes recent data on curcumin’s ability to interfere with the multiple cell signaling pathways involved in cell cycle regulation, apoptosis and the migration of several cancer cell types. However, although curcumin displays anticancer potential, its clinical application is limited by its low absorption, rapid metabolism and poor bioavailability. To overcome these limitations, several curcumin-based derivatives/analogues and different drug delivery approaches have been developed. Here, we also report the anticancer mechanisms and pharmacokinetic characteristics of some derivatives/analogues and the delivery systems used. These strategies, although encouraging, require additional in vivo studies to support curcumin clinical applications.