Combining the drug Femara with Turmeric may help fight endometrial cancer

January 05, 2010

     Femara is an aromatase inhibiting drug. In the USA it’s most frequent use is to treat estrogen sensitive breast cancer in postmenopausal women. In some countries such as China Femara is also used to treat endometrial cancer. Tumor inhibition to a certain extent has been demonstrated, however, the therapeutic effects need improvement. Turmeric is reported to have anti-tumor capabilities and can enhance the sensitivity of tumor cells to cancer fighting agents.
     In the present study endometrial cancer was implanted into 50 nude mice successfully (they lack an immune system and are easily given cancer when it is surgically grafted onto them). Tumor-laden mice were treated with the aromatase inhibitor Femara or with Turmeric or with a combination of both. The tumor growth was monitored.
     Treatment with letrozole (Femara) markedly inhibited tumor growth, and the inhibitory effect was enhanced by the combination of letrozole plus Turmeric. Letrozole inhibited tumor growth by up to 22.49 % and killed 36 % of the tumor cells. Turmeric inhibited endometrial cancer growth by 21.57 % and killed 34 % of the cancer cells. Adding the two together inhibited the growth of the cancer by 36 % and killed 47 % of the tumor cells. Turmeric inhibited a group of cancer-growth genes known as Bcl-2. The study is published in the January 2010 issue of the Chinese Journal of Cancer.