Researchers at LMU Munich Think Turmeric May Fight Prostate, Breast Cancers
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/23/2012 -- A new study from German researchers suggests that curcumin, an active ingredient in the spice turmeric, may inhibit the formation of cancerous metastases.
The spice has been used for centuries to treat other illnesses, like arthritis, and has well-known anti-inflammatory properties.
The research group at LMU Munich that did the work behind the study was lead by Dr. Beatrice Bachmeier, who has been studying how the natural product inhibits the formation of metastases. Bachmeier’s research on curcumin hopes to uncover more about how the chemical in the popular spices works to stop the spread of cancer.
Because turmeric is so well-tolerated by a majority of patients, a breakthrough would allow it to be widely used in patients with existing tumors and in patients at risk of developing cancer.
Dr. Bachmeier’s earlier research proved that curcumin reduces the formation of lung metastases in test animals with advanced lung cancer by a significant amount. This new study attempts to look at how well curcumin works in preventing prostate cancer, as well as hoping to determine the chemical’s precise mode of action.
Breast cancer and prostate cancer are associated with inflammatory reactions. The tumors found in both are found to contain methods of increasing inflammatory response in the body. Researchers have shown that curcumin specifically reduces specific inflammatory proteins often found in breast and prostate cancer.
Bachmeier is of the opinion that curcimin may be used successfully in the prevention of prostate and breast cancer, as both disorders are linked to specific forms of inflammation.
Though hopeful, Doctor Bachmeier does not think curcumin is a cure-all: “This does not mean that the compound should be seen as a replacement for conventional therapies. However, it could play a positive role in primary prevention - before a full-blown tumour arises - or help to avert formation of metastases. In this context the fact that the substance is well tolerated is very important, because one can safely recommend it to individuals who have an increased tumour risk."
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