ABSTRACT: Curry ingredient protects skin against radiation
The phrase "curry is the spice of life" has gained new meaning
due to research by Paul Okunieff and Ivan Ding at the James P
Wilmot Cancer Center, University of Rochester Medical Center,
Turmeric, a common ingredient in curry, is used in some traditional
Indian societies as a topical treatment for burns. Now researchers
have shown that it can also protect skin during radiotherapy.
Curcumin is responsible for the yellow colour of tumeric and it
acts in a similar way to COX2; it alters the function of nuclear
factor kB and inhibits angiogenesis. Okunieff and Ding treated
mice with breast cancer and xenografts of human oesophageal
squamous carcinoma and adenocarcinoma with purified curcumin given
by intraperitoneal and intragastric injections.
given according to several different schedules before and after
radiation. All treatments inhibited adverse skin reactions to
extremely high radiation doses (eg, 60 Gy) and reduced inflammatory
skin and muscle chemokines compared with controls, particularly
monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP1), macrophage inflammatory
protein 2 (MIP2), MIP1 a and B, and RANTES.
route was slightly more effective than the intragastric route.
According to Okunieff, "improvement seemed to be caused by a
decrease in mononuclear inflammatory cell infiltrates, and the
concentration of MCP1 in the blood appeared to correlate with
the concentration in the local tissues indicating a potential
surrogate marker for clinical studies."
In vitro studies showed
that curcumin increases tumour cell apoptosis, decreases cell
growth rate, and reduces the number of clonogenic cells in a
Hiroshi Inano at the Research Center for Radiation Safety,
National Institute of Radiological Sciences, Japan, says the
results are very interesting and that he hopes to be able to
use curcumin in clinical application, particularly given its
low toxicity and strong antioxidant activity.
[12/10/2002; Lancet Oncology]
Thanks to breastcancer.net
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