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Curcumin may be used to treat Melanoma Cancer and what to look for

July 11th 2005


Curcumin, a component in the yellow spice curry, may inhibit melanoma cell growth and kill tumor cells, according to a study published in the August 15th 2005 issue of Cancer, a peer-review journal of the American Cancer Society.  In the new study, Dr Razelle Kurzrock at University of Texas Cancer Center in Houston, found that curcumin suppressed two specific proteins, NF-kappa B, and another independent inhibitor of apoptosis, IKK.  These are two key stimulator compounds that inhibit cancer cell death.   

Apoptosis is an intracellular mechanism for cells of all types to "kill" themselves.  Curcumin, a spice found on turmeric, has been shown to inhibit tumor growth and stimulate apoptosis.  Aggarwal’s team exposed three different cell lines of melanoma to curcumin, and found it decreased the cell viability in all three lines. They began to focus NF-kappa B, and found it shut down the tumor growth.

Earlier studies found that curcumin has antioxidant and anti-inflammation properties.  The new report may establish that curcumin may indeed cause tumor cell death in low doses for a long period of time and high doses for shorter periods. Curcumin did not suppress two pathways associated with melanoma cell proliferation, B-Raf/MEK/ERK and Akt pathways. Further studies and human trials are planned  


Curcumin has been studied for 20 years as a preventative measure against cancer.  People with diets rich in curcumin have had reduced rates of colon cancer.  Now researchers are seriously considering using it in combination with treatment.  Koumenis is now studying whether curcumin can be used in conjunction with radiation therapy for deadly brain tumors called gliomas.

Melanoma cancer begins in the melanocytes, a type of skin cell. Because most of these cells keep on making melanin, melanoma tumors are often brown or black. Melanoma most often appears on the trunk of fair-skinned men and on the lower legs of fair-skinned women, but it can appear other places as well. While having dark skin lowers the risk of melanoma, it does not mean that a person with dark skin will never develop melanoma.

Skin cancers are divided into nonmelanomas and melanomas. Melanoma is almost always curable in its early stages. But it is also likely to spread to other parts of the body. Melanoma is much less common than basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers, but it is far more serious.

Research report

By Dan Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer

Keywords and misspellings:  non-melanomas melinoma canser curcunim cury cure treetment


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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Sunday, July 11, 2010 01:18 AM