Curcumin, found in Turmeric, is effective against Prostate Cancer

Turmeric has been long known for its medicinal properties. It has been used in India for the treatment of osteoarthritis and various other ailments. Now, a new research, conducted by researchers from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) in Munich, has found that curcumin, the active ingredient of turmeric is effective in preventing metastasis in patients with prostate cancer. The results of the research have been published in the latest issue of the journal Carcinogenesis.

Prostate cancer is the second commonest cancer affecting the males in the Western countries. Many a times, it is diagnosed only after the cancer has metastasized to distant body organs, and is lethal in 3% of the cases. In an earlier study, Dr. Beatrice Bachmeier from LMU Munich has demonstrated that curcumin reduces the incidence of lung metastases significantly in animal models of advanced breast cancer. The present study was undertaken to study the effect of curcumin on the growth of prostate cancer, apoptosis and its metastasis.

Researchers have known that chronic inflammation is an important risk factor for the development of both breast cancer and prostate cancer. In both these cancers, the tumor cells produce cytokines CXCL1 and CXCL2, types of pro-inflammatory immuno-modulators. Curcumin acts specifically to reduce the production of these two proteins. The decrease in the levels of these cytokines is associated with a decrease in metastasis. Previous research had shown reduced incidence of lung metastasis when animals with breast cancer were given curcumin. The present study showed a similar reduced incidence of lung metastasis in animal models with prostate cancer.

A daily intake of up to 8mg of curcumin is not associated with any side effects. According to Dr. Bachmeier, curcumin can be safely used to prevent the development of prostate cancer in men and breast cancer in women (primary prevention), as well as to prevent metastases to distant organs in patients where cancer is already present (secondary prevention).It can also be used as a supplement to other forms of cancer treatment. After experimenting with animal models, the researchers plan to extend their trials to men suffering from therapy resistant prostate cancer.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012
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