|Curcumin halts colorectal cancer, breast cancer by inducing death of
Monday, September 25, 2006 by: Jessica Fraser
NewsTarget) A new study published in the current issue of the journal
Clinical Cancer Research reveals that curcumin -- the yellow pigment in
turmeric, a major spice in curry -- can stop the growth and spread of
colorectal and breast cancers.
Researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB)
found that curcumin inhibits the production of an inflammatory protein that
promotes cancer cell growth by dampening the signals of the hormone
neurotensin, which spur production of the protein.
"We found that in colon cancer cells, neurotensin increases not just the
rate of growth but also other critical things, including cell migration and
metastasis," says the study's lead author, professor B. Mark Evers, director
of the Sealy Center for Cancer Cell Biology at UTMB.
Researchers believe that because the incidence of cancer is so low in India
-- where curry is widely used as a cooking spice and a traditional medicine
-- curcumin can be used as a potent anti-cancer medication. Previous lab
studies have found the pigment to be effective against skin and breast
cancers, in addition to colorectal cancer.
A study published in the Oct. 15, 2005 issue of Clinical Cancer Research
found that curcumin prevents the progression of breast cancer cells, and
also reverses the negative effects of Taxol, a breast cancer drug that can
cause breast cancer cells to spread.
A peer-reviewed study by University of Texas researchers appearing in the
Aug. 15, 2005 issue of the journal Cancer -- the journal of the American
Cancer Society -- reveals that curcumin treatments can induce cancer cell
death in lines of melanoma.
Nearly 71,000 men and 69,000 women in the United States were diagnosed with
colorectal cancer in 2002, killing nearly 57,000 men and women combined. The
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention list common risk factors as lack
of regular physical exercise, high-fat and low-fiber diets, low consumption
of fruits and vegetables, obesity and the use of alcohol and tobacco.