A yellow pigment of the spice turmeric that is being studied in cancer prevention.
Here are just a few of the more than 1,500 studies looking into effects of curcumin on numerous types of cancer.
This 2020 Systematic Review says: Finally, 10 patients participated in this study were able to complete this treatment plan. In 8 patients, the VEGF (Vascular endothelial growth factor) as a tumur marker, which indicates tumor growth, metastasis, and malignancy, was reduced by 30% compared to the baseline before treatment.
Case report of 57-year-old myeloma patient published in the British Medical Journal: Here, we describe a case in which curcumin has maintained long-term disease control in a multiply-relapsed myeloma patient.
To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report in which curcumin has demonstrated an objective response in progressive disease in the absence of conventional treatment… the patient began a daily regime of oral curcumin complexed with bioperine (to aid absorption), as a single dose of 8 g each evening on an empty stomach.
A few months later, she also embarked on a once-weekly course of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (90 min at 2 ATA) which she has maintained ever since. Her paraprotein levels gradually declined to a nadir of 13 g/L, her blood counts steadily improved and there was no evidence of further progressive lytic bone disease.
The patient continues to take oral curcumin 8 g daily without further antimyeloma treatment. Over the last 60 months, her myeloma has remained stable…
Curcumin has been shown to exhibit cytotoxic effects on Cancer Stem Cells and selectively targets CSC in Esophageal squamous carcinoma according to this Study.
Twenty-five patients were enrolled in this study, with 21 evaluable for response. The authors concluded: “our current study shows that oral curcumin is tolerated without toxicity at doses of 8 g/d for up to 18 months…Preclinical data suggest that curcumin has potent activity against pancreatic cancer, but higher levels of exposure need to be achieved.
This study says: An ethanol extract of turmeric (“Curcuma longa”) as well as an ointment of curcumin (its active ingredient) were found to produce remarkable symptomatic relief in patients with external cancerous lesions. Reduction in smell were noted in 90% of the cases and reduction in itching in almost all cases. Dry lesions were observed in 70% of the cases, and a small number of patients (10%) had a reduction in lesion size and pain. In many patients the effect continued for several months. An adverse reaction was noticed in only one of the 62 patients evaluated.
This pilot phase II study assessed the efficacy of docetaxel/curcumin in thirty patients with metastatic prostate cancer. 2 progressed and 2 died before the end of treatment. A PSA response was observed in 59% of patients. Partial response was reached for 40% of evaluable patients. The authors concluded: This study produced additional data on curcumin as a treatment for cancer, with a high response rate, good tolerability and patient acceptability…
This study says: None of the known methods of treatment, be it radiation, chemotherapy, or surgery, is 100% effective in cancer treatment. Therefore, studies highly focus on combinatorial therapies. Curcumin turns out to be the forerunner compound among these adjuvants due to its nontoxic nature and its capacity to prevent the spread of tumor…As we have seen in this review, curcumin acting as an adjuvant with other chemotherapeutic drugs is capable of not only preventing the relapse of cancer but also decreasing tumor mass and cancer progression. However, in this success story of curcumin, there also lies the fact that the bioavailability of curcumin is very less.
This study says: Curcumin has been shown to exhibit antioxidant, anti inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anticancer activities and thus has a potential against various malignant diseases.
This study says: In several systems, curcumin has been described as a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. Evidence has also been presented to suggest that curcumin can suppress tumor initiation, promotion and metastasis. Pharmacologically, curcumin has been found to be safe.…it is quite apparent that curcumin has tremendous potential for prevention and therapy of various cancers.
This study says: Overall, our review shows that curcumin can kill a wide variety of tumor cell types through diverse mechanisms. Because of numerous mechanisms of cell death employed by curcumin, it is possible that cells may not develop resistance to curcumin-induced cell death. Furthermore, its ability to kill tumor cells and not normal cells makes curcumin an attractive candidate for drug development.
This study says: In conclusion, the present study demonstrated that curcumin inhibited the growth of LCSCs [liver cancer stem cells] through the PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway. These results indicated that curcumin may be an effective anticancer agent in the treatment of liver cancer and may reduce the recurrence of liver cancer.
This study says: Recent studies suggest that curcumin can exert promising effects relevant to the prevention and treatment of different cancer types. Given the mechanisms mentioned in the above sections, these antitumor effects of curcumin could be, at least in part, attributed to the inhibitory effect of this compound on stem cell self‐renewal… Therefore, curcumin is an effective inhibitor of distant metastasis in cancer…
This study says: Curcumin is well tolerated by individuals ingesting it for possible cancer prevention or in combination with conventional cancer therapies, and it shows low toxicity toward noncancerous cells at low dosages. In contrast, curcumin is particularly effective against cancer stem cells, which are treatment-resistant, aggressive, and tumor-initiating…Timing of curcumin delivery for cancer prevention or in combination with cancer therapies to target CSCs is likely to be most favorable when it is taken in the morning to minimize suppression of immune functions and possible disruption of the circadian timing system.
This study says: Our data demonstrate that curcumin can inhibit the CSC [cancer stem cell] population in Burkitt lymphoma cells and AML cells.
This study says: In this study, we observed that curcumin inhibited tumorsphere formation, decreased cell viability in a dose-dependent manner. Curcumin also promoted apoptosis [cell death] of LGR5(+) colorectal CSCs [cancer stem cells]. In addition, curcumin can induce autophagy in many tumor cells. For example, curcumin inhibited proliferation, induced the autophagy and apoptosis in gastric cancer cells.
Taking a Curcumin supplement
Curcumin supplements provide curcumin in good amounts but curcumin is difficult to absorb and has a a very short half-life. This study shows absorption can be helped by piperine (a major component of black pepper), liposome-encapsulated curcumin and olive oil which contains substantial amounts of other compounds deemed to be anticancer agents.
Piperine & Curcumin
These studies show the efficacy of Piperine & Curcumin:
In addition to curcumin, we demonstrate that the dietary polyphenol piperine also is able to inhibit breast stem cell self-renewal… Previous studies have suggested that piperine could enhance curcumin’s effects … Our studies demonstrating that piperine affects mammosphere size and colony formation suggest that piperine may affect progenitor cell proliferation, as well as enhancing curcumin’s effects on breast stem cell self-renewal.(read study)
Curcumin and piperine separately, and in combination, inhibit breast stem cell self-renewal but do not cause toxicity to differentiated cells. (read study)
Where can I get this treatment
Curcumin is the main active ingredient in the turmeric plant. It is also widely available as a supplement.