A group of researchers have joined a growing army of scientists who believe that the active ingredient in turmeric called curcumin can help fight malignant mesothelioma (MM). Led by Dr. Laura Masuelli, the study found that curcumin blocks autophagy (intracellular degradation) and activates the death of malignant mesothelioma cell lines. researcher and lead author D
Other researchers have published similar findings. Principal investigator Dr. Ying Wang, who has affiliations with Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute and the Department of Oncology at Wayne State University, discovered that curcumin inhibited malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) cell growth in a dose- and time-dependent manner while pretreatment of MPM cells with curcumin enhanced cisplatin efficacy. Oral administration of curcumin inhibited growth of murine MPM cell-derived tumors in vivo in part by stimulating apoptosis (cell death). Thus, says the study, curcumin targets cell cycle and promotes apoptosis to suppress MPM growth in vitro and in vivo.
Another study published in 2014 by scientists from Case Western Reserve University concluded that curcumin slows the progression of mesothelioma by increasing levels of a protein inhibitor known to combat this kind of cancer. And yet another 2014 study, “Curcumin: A Double Hit on Malignant Mesothelioma,” demonstrated that curcumin induces cytotoxic effects on MM cells.
Though curcumin appears to be on the path to becoming an effective treatment for mesothelioma, more studies and clinical trials have to be conducted. Both animal and laboratory studies are ongoing and preliminary studies in humans are underway.
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