Exciting research shows curcumin spice could help treat mesothelioma
Researchers at Flinders Medical Centre have tapped into the power of curcumin in turmeric as a possible treatment for mesothelioma. The finding is exciting because the aggressive form of cancer that is often caused by asbestos inhalation is difficult to treat.
Curcumin is known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. The turmeric derivative has the ability to stop the growth of mesothelioma, found in animal lab experiments.
Now researchers have taken things a step further by testing curcumin's anti-cancer effect in human mesothelioma cells
Associate Professor Sonja Klebe, from the Department of Anatomical Pathology at Flinders Medical Centre said in a media release: “Importantly, this breakthrough allows us to predict if a certain patient is likely to benefit from therapy.”
Current therapy for mesothelioma involves trying to keep the cancer from growing and spreading to other organ. Surgery is not an option for everyone. Chemotherapy has been only partially successful.
Curcumin halts blood supply to mesothelioma tumors
Klebe explained curcumin has the ability to stop new blood vessels from growing. Cutting off the blood supply to cancer has been a focus of treatment.
But the researchers were able to show for the first time that mesothelioma cells form 3-dimensional tubes.
“This may explain the poor results of trials with the standard drugs, because they do not target this type of blood vessel formation," Klebe says.
The researchers thinks curcumin has a direct affect on mesothelioma tumor growth in addition to stopping blood vessels from growing.
“Curcumin – which can be taken orally in tablet form - has virtually no side effects, and could be used alone in patients too unwell to tolerate other therapies, or in conjunction with other drugs. It may improve treatment response and allow reduction of standard drugs, improving quality of life,"