This site is intended for health professionals only

Curcumin “helps cancer treatment”


A curry spice ingredient has been successful in the pre-treatment of ovarian cancer, research has shown.

Scientists from the University of South Dakota, US, discovered that curcumin, a component of the yellow spice turmeric, sensitised the cancer tissue, making it more responsive to radiation therapies.

The team developed a “nanoparticle” curcumin formulation – called Nano-CUR – and tested previously therapy-resistant cancer cells.

Study leader Dr Subhash Chauhan said: “One strategy to improve the effectiveness and limit the toxicity of cancer therapy is to induce chemo/radio-sensitisation in cancer cells using natural dietary phytochemicals like curcumin. However, curcumin is poorly absorbed by the body which limits its effectiveness.

“We have developed a nanoparticle formulation, Nano-CUR, to provide increased bioavailability as well as targeted delivery of curcumin into tumours.”

Pre-treatment was found to lower the doses of treatment needed to suppress the cancerous growth.

Dr Chauhan said: “Nanoparticle mediated curcumin delivery will further improve the sensitisation and therapeutic capabilities. This study demonstrates a novel pre-treatment strategy that could be implemented in pre-clinical animal models and in future clinical trials.”

The findings were published online in the Journal of Ovarian Research.

Copyright Press Association 2010
Ovarian Research

Most read

Latest Issue

Be in the know
Subscribe to Hospital Pharmacy Europe newsletter and magazine
Share this story: