We report a strategy for developing a poly (DL-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA)-based controlled polymeric drug delivery system consisting of an anticancer agent curcumin and magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs). Superparamagnetic nanoparticles of size 9 nm were used to produce heat by applying an ac magnetic field of 11.7 kA/m. We characterized the properties of magnetic PLGA nanospheres encapsulated with curcumin as a drug delivery vehicle and also as a hyperthermic agent to induce cell death in HeLa cancer cells through magnetocalorific effect. The specific absorption rate for unencapsulated MNPs and encapsulated MNPs were found to be 108 and 59 W/g, respectively. Cell death due to magnetic hyperthermia was evaluated to be 90% higher with respect to control.