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Curcumin in Turmeric Spice could Enhance Prostate Cancer Treatment

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Curcumin from the Indian spice turmeric, might hold promise for prostate cancer.

Results of a prostate cancer cell study show turmeric, a component of the Indian spice curcumin, slows growth of prostate cancer cells and could give a boost for treating the disease for men receiving androgen deprivation therapy (ADT).

For the new study researchers at Jefferson’s Kimmel Cancer Center looked at prostate cancer cells subjected to hormone deprivation with and without curcumin in doses that were “physiologically attainable”, unlike past studies that used unrealistic amounts of the spice component.

In pre-clinical studies, researcher Karen Knudsen, Ph.D., a Professor of Cancer Biology, Urology and Radiation Oncology at Thomas Jefferson University and colleagues found turmeric blocks the action of two receptors in the cells that work against ADT - p300 and CPB, also known as CREB1-binding protein).

The two culprits work in concert to promote prostate cancer by helping prostate tumors escape the effect of ADT. In cells, curcumin was found to increase the effect of ADT prostate cancer treatment.

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Curcumin in turmeric also inhibited prostate cancer cell survival.

“This study sets the stage for further development of curcumin as a novel agent to target androgen receptor signaling,” said Dr. Knudsen. “It also has implications beyond prostate cancer since p300 and CBP are important in other malignancies, like breast cancer. In tumors where these play an important function, curcumin may prove to be a promising therapeutic agent.”

The findings showed curcumin, found in the Indian spice turmeric helps prostate cancer cells remain susceptible to treatment with androgen deprivation therapy. The spice component also blocks the growth of ADT resistant prostate cancer.

Cancer Research: doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-11-094
"Targeting pioneering factor and hormone receptor cooperative pathways to suppress tumor progression"
Supriya A. Shah, Shikha Prasad, and Karen E. Knudsen
January 18, 2012

Image credit: Wikimedia commons