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Indian spice ‘slows prostate cancer growth’

February 13th, 2012
by Tania

different types of turmeric barksAn active ingredient in the Indian curry spice turmeric has been shown to slow tumour growth in a certain class of prostate cancer patients.

Curcumin was found to delay the growth of tumours in castration-resistant prostate cancer patients on androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) in a study produced by Jefferson's Kimmel Cancer Center.

A preclinical study was found to suppress two known nuclear receptor activators, p300 and CPB (or CREB1-binding protein).

These have been shown to work against ADT in previous research. ADT inhibits the androgen receptor, which is an important hormone in the progression of prostate cancer.

However, more sophisticated tumour cells with these two nuclear receptor activators have been known to bypass this therapy, allowing the cancer to continue developing.

In the research from the Kimmel Cancer Center, prostate cancer cells were subjected to hormone deprivation in the presence and absence of curcumin. Specifically, this study focuses on physically attainable doses, where in previous research does were unrealistic.

The results show the ingredient reduced cell number compared to ADT alone and was found to potently inhibit both cell cycle and survival in prostate cancer cells.

Development of targets that work in cooperation with ADT are seen as a key therapeutic target for patients with a castration-resistant form of prostate cancer.

Karen Knudsen, Ph.D., a Professor of Cancer Biology, Urology and Radiation Oncology at Thomas Jefferson University, said: "This study sets the stage for further development of curcumin as a novel agent to target androgen receptor signalling.

"It also has implications beyond prostate cancer, since p300 and CBP are important in other malignancies, like breast cancer. In tumours where these play an important function, curcumin may prove to be a promising therapeutic agent."

The majority of cases of prostate cancer progress slowly, and research has suggested as many as seven to nine in ten men aged over 80 have had cancer that has not affected them in their lifetime.

However, there are still more aggressive forms of the disease which prove difficult to treat.

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Posted in Industry News, Life Science, Medical Science

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