Improving the absorption of Curcumin helps the fight against pancreatic cancer

January 19, 2011

Researchers at the Sol Goldman Pancreatic Research Center in Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine state that a large volume (several hundreds) of published reports has established the anticancer and chemopreventive (cancer preventing) properties of Curcumin in preclinical models of every known major cancer type. But Curcumin has poor absorption hampering its use because patients have to use 8 to 10 grams of the herb daily to achieve appreciable levels.

Because of this poor absorption research institutions are examining ways to increase the amount absorbed (that is why we use BioCurcumin). In this case Tufts made a nanoparticle version of Curcumin. When mice who have no immune system and therefore no protection from cancer, have human pancreatic cancer grown in their pancreas, the better absorbed Curcumin significantly inhibits the growth of the cancerous tumor, When one of the drugs approved to treat pancreatic cancer known as gemcitabine was given with the Curcumin it enhanced the ability of either agent to fight the cancer. The combination completely prevented metastasis in xenograft models (the pancreatic cancer is grafted into the animals). The combination significantly inhibits NF KappaB; a messenger that causes cancer growth by stimulating cancer friendly genes and the combination also significantly reduced the activity of MMP 9 enzymes (matrix metalloproteinase enzymes); these enzymes dissolve the barrier between cancerous growths and healthy tissue. The combination also significantly inhibited Cyclin D1; this would otherwise allow the tumor to survive.

The improvement of absorption of Curcumin overcomes the major impediment to using it in cancer patients, namely poor absorption, therefore improving therapeutic effect. The study is published in the August 2010 issue of the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics.