Curcumin presents strong antioxidant and anticancer properties. However, molecular mechanisms leading to curcumin-induced cell death are poorly understood. The effect of curcumin was compared in two different leukemia cell lines: K562 and Jurkat. Cell death was induced in both cell lines, and apoptosis pathways were investigated by Western blot analysis. Decreases in pro-caspase 8 and 9 levels were observed. BH(3) interacting domain death agonist (Bid) was also cleaved. Jurkat cells appeared to be more sensitive to curcumin, and apoptosis takes place earlier.