Curcumin Inhibits Growth of Certain Cancer Cells
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/23/2012 -- A recent laboratory study published in Molecular Medical Reports indicates curcumin may help prevent triple-negative breast cancer, an aggressive breast tumor.
S.D. Sun, of the Zhejiang Provincial People’s Hospital in Hangzhou, Zhejiang lead a group of researchers in the study, which suggested curcumin increases apoptosis, a time of programmed cell death that cancer cells do not have. It also decreases the expression of genes associated with the spread of triple-negative breast cancer, according to the study.
Triple-negative breast cancer accounts for about 15 to 25% of all breast cancer cases. It is more likely to strike younger African American and Hispanic women. Black women are more likely to die from the disease than women in other ethnic groups.
An epidemiological study found that women who used oral contraception for more than one year were 2.5 times more likely than those who did not use oral contraception or who used it for less than one year, to develop triple-negative breast cancer.
Curcumin is the main ingredient in turmeric, the spice used in curry, a popular Indian seasoning. triple-negative breast cancer cells behave differently from those of so-called “positive” breast cancers. They are more apt to cause a relapse within three-to-five years after diagnosis and/or treatment.
For the study, researchers treated the triple-negative breast cancer cells with curcumin and then measured various factors, including the growth inhibition ratio of the cells.
Results indicated curcumin treatment significantly inhibited the growth of the triple-negative breast cancer cells.
"These results indicate that curcumin is able to inhibit the proliferation of TNBC (triple-negative breast cancer) cells,” wrote the researchers.
Meanwhile, researchers at Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich demonstrated in a separate study, published in the journal Carcinogenesis, that curcumin may slow prostate cancer metastases.
Researchers wrote, “due to the action of curcumin, the tumor cells synthesize smaller amounts of cytokines that promote metastasis. As a consequence, the frequency of metastasis formation in the lungs is significantly reduced, in animals with breast cancer, as we showed previously, or carcinoma of the prostate, as demonstrated in our new study."
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