Curcumin may be an attractive addition to the treatment of ovarian cancer even when chemotherapy works poorly

June 07, 2007

Nutrition News; Scientists at the School of Medical sciences, RMIT University in Victoria Australia have analyzed the green lipped muscle known as Perna Canaliculus, and have discovered that it contains 3 newly discovered, novel, omega 3 fatty acids that have significant anti-inflammatory activity. The research is published in the April 2007 issue of Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Part B, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Researchers at the Department of Gynecological Oncology, the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center note that Curcumin from Turmeric has been shown to suppress inflammation and the improper formation of new blood vessels that feed tumors largely by suppressing the immune system component known as NF-kappa B.

In their new study Curcumin was added to various forms of ovarian cancer either in the laboratory or implanted in animals. The Curcumin was given either alone or in conjunction with the chemotherapeutic drug docetaxel (Taxotere). Docetaxel is a taxane drug just like paclitaxel (Taxol). Some animals were left untreated as a control group to measure effectiveness of the herb and drug.

In the laboratory study, Curcumin inhibited NF-kappa B and suppressed cancer cell growth. In the animals, large doses of Curcumin inhibited NF-kappa B and suppressed factors that promote the creation of a blood supply that nourishes the cancerous tumor.

In two different cell types of ovarian cancer in the animals, Curcumin used alone strongly reduced average tumor growth by 49% and 55%. When Curcumin was combined with docetaxel it significantly and strongly reduced the average growth of the same tumors by 96% and 77%. When used in animals with chemotherapy drug resistant ovarian cancer Curcumin alone reduced the average tumor growth by a significant 47%, and when both agents were used the chemotherapy resistant cancers average growth was inhibited by 58%.

Based on significant effectiveness in preclinical models, Curcumin-based therapies may be attractive in patients with ovarian cancer. The study is published in the June 1st, 2007 issue of Clinical Cancer Research, an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.