Researchers Looking to Test Curcumin for Bowel Cancer Treatment
Researchers from U.K. have started working on the curry ingredient curcumin to find whether curcumin can help in increasing the therapeutic ability of chemotherapeutic agents against bowel cancer.
Curcumin is commonly found in the yellow curry spice turmeric. This compound is found to have potent anti-inflammatory properties and can also work as an antioxidant. It has also been used as an alternative therapy for many of the problems such as allergies, liver and digestive disorders and acne.
Some of the studies have also showed that curcumin not only improves the working of chemotherapeutic agents but also protects the healthy cells from the harmful effects of radiotherapy.
However, the use of curcumin still needs a lot of research, so researchers from Cancer Research UK and the University of Leicester will recruit 40 patients with bowel cancer that has spread to the liver in a two-year trial. In this trial, two groups will be made with one group receiving FOLFOX, which is a therapeutic strategy giving three chemotherapeutic drugs, along with curcumin tablets and the other group will receive the FOLFOX only.
It has been found that during treatment with FOLFOX up to 60% of patients stop responding to the therapy due to the side effects such as tingling and nerve pain.
Chief investigator Professor William Steward, director of the Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC) at the University of Leicester said: “Once bowel cancer has spread it is very difficult to treat, partly because the side effects of chemotherapy can limit how long patients can have treatment.
“The prospect that curcumin might increase the sensitivity of cancer cells to chemotherapy is exciting because it could mean giving lower doses, so patients have fewer side effects and can keep having treatment for longer.”
The research will be conducted at Leicester Royal Infirmary and Leicester General Hospital, and has been funded by Hope Against Cancer, The Royal College of Surgeons and the Bowel Disease Research Foundation.