Today's focus is curcumin and cancer. There are many studies here, so I'll just provide brief recaps and links to websites for more information.
I have prostate cancer, so let's start there. The best summary I've seen is a video by Dr. Charles Myers. A medical oncologist and prostate cancer survivor, Dr. Charles “Snuffy” Myers was a key player in creating AZT, Suramin, and Phenylacetate while working at the National Institute of Health. With over 250 research papers published, he has led the way in research and treatment.
Curcumin is thought to have antioxidant properties, which means it may decrease swelling and inflammation. It's being explored as a cancer treatment in part because inflammation appears to play a role in cancer.
Laboratory and animal research suggests that curcumin may prevent cancer, slow the spread of cancer, make chemotherapy more effective, and protect healthy cells from radiation damage. Curcumin is being studied for use in many types of cancer.
Curcumin studies using human subjects are still in the early stages. Clinical trials are underway to investigate the compound's ability to prevent cancer in people with precancerous conditions, to treat cancer, and to improve adverse reactions to cancer treatments.
Even ten years ago, after reviewing the existing science, researchers at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center concluded: "All of these studies suggest that curcumin has enormous potential in the prevention and therapy of cancer." Since then, there have been many more encouraging studies. Here are just a few:
- Breast cancer: A review of past studies by the Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University found evidence that curcumin has a role in reducing the incidence of breast cancer. See http://1.usa.gov/PcYx14 and http://1.usa.gov/OySxlN.
- Myeloma: Several studies have shown promising results. See http://1.usa.gov/MbZ2bG, http://1.usa.gov/NBYwGV, and http://1.usa.gov/SKJSxI.
- Cutaneous T-cell Lymphoma : A study at the MD Anderson Cancer Center, University of Texas, concluded: "Our findings provide a mechanistic rationale for the potential use of curcumin as a therapeutic agent for patients with CTCL." http://1.usa.gov/Nm8LAF.
- Pancreatic cancer: Another study at the MD Anderson Cancer Center concluded: "Oral curcumin is well tolerated and, despite its limited absorption, has biological activity in some patients with pancreatic cancer." http://1.usa.gov/MN490n.
- Colon cancer: A study published last month found that curcumin permanently arrests growth in colon cancer calls. http://1.usa.gov/LZzNxU.