Trial launched into curry chemical's cancer-fighting properties
Compounds found in curry are being investigated as a way of improving drug response in patients with advanced bowel cancer in a new study launched today (Monday).
Scientists at the Cancer Research UK and National Institute for Health Research Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC) in Leicester will investigate whether tablets containing curcumin found in the spice turmeric can be safely added to the standard treatment for bowel cancer that has spread.
Earlier studies have shown that curcumin can enhance the ability of chemotherapy to kill bowel cancer cells in the lab.
The trial is being funded by Hope Against Cancer, The Royal College of Surgeons and the Bowel Disease Research Foundation.
Patients with advanced bowel cancer are usually given a treatment called FOLFOX, which combines three chemotherapy drugs. But around 40-60 per cent of patients don't respond and, of those who do, side effects such as severe tingling or nerve pain can limit the number of cycles patients can have.
Chief investigator Professor William Steward, ECMC director 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.
"This research is at a very early stage, but investigating the potential of plant chemicals to treat cancer is an intriguing area that we hope could provide clues to developing new drugs in the future."
Around 40 patients with bowel cancer that has spread to the liver will be recruited to take part in the study at Leicester Royal Infirmary and Leicester General Hospital. Three quarters of these will be given curcumin tablets for seven days, before being treated with FOLFOX. The remainder will receive FOLFOX only.
Colin Carroll, a 62-year-old compliance consultant from near Loughborough, agreed to take part in the trial after being diagnosed with advanced bowel cancer in January.
"The diagnosis came as a big shock because I'd had no symptoms apart from some occasional cramps," said Colin.
"I'd had a few tests which had come back clear and I'd just been booked for a CT scan when I was rushed to hospital with a suspected intestinal blockage."
Scans showed Colin had bowel cancer which had spread to his liver and, three days after being admitted to Leicester Royal Infirmary, he underwent an emergency ileostomy to bypass the blockage.
"It's been like a whirlwind," said Colin who will need to undergo chemotherapy until mid-August. "To have something creep up on you like that when you have absolutely no control over it really makes you want to fight back. That's why I had no difficulty in agreeing to take part in the trial.
"I've met some amazing people since January and my treatment on the NHS has been fantastic. The way I see it is that I'm being given the best possible chance so in that sense I feel very fortunate."
Dr Joanna Reynolds, Cancer Research UK's director of centres, said: "The Experimental Cancer Medicine Centres Network supports research into some of the most novel and exciting new anti-cancer therapies, often providing the first insights into their effect on cancer patients. By doing a clinical trial like this we will find out more about the potential benefits of taking large amounts of curcumin, as well as any possible side effects this could have for cancer patients."
Provided by University of Leicester
- Researchers test benefit of fish oil in bowel cancer spread Jul 01, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- New bowel cancer gene discovery Nov 10, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Stem cell indicator for bowel cancer should lead to better survival rates Aug 20, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Chemo plus radiation before surgery increases tumor response for rectal cancer Sep 26, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Robotic surgery put to the test for bowel cancer Apr 06, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
How can there be a term called "intestinal metaplasia" of stomach
17 hours ago Hello everyone, Ok Stomach's normal epithelium is simple columnar, now in intestinal type of adenocarcinoma of stomach it undergoes "intestinal...
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
May 18, 2013 From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is...
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
May 17, 2013 I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
Ratio of Hydrogen of Oxygen in Dessicated Animal Protein
May 13, 2013 As an experiment, for the past few months I've been consuming at least one portion of Jell-O or unflavored Knox gelatin per day. I'm 64, in very...
Alcohol and acetaminophen
May 13, 2013 Edit: sorry for the typo in the title , can't edit I looked around on google quite a bit and it's very hard to find precise information on the...
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
The gap between life expectancy in patients with a mental illness and the general population has widened since 1985 and efforts to reduce this gap should focus on improving physical health, suggest researchers in a paper ...
Cancer 5 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
By studying the roles two proteins, thrombospondin-1 and prosaposin, play in discouraging cancer metastasis, a trans-Atlantic research team has identified a five-amino acid fragment of prosaposin that significantly reduces ...
Cancer 6 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
A novel transcriptome-based classification of colon cancer that improves the current disease stratification based on clinicopathological variables and common DNA markers is presented in a study published in PLOS Medicine this w ...
Cancer 6 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
A study of veterans at high risk for developing lung cancer shows that low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) can be highly effective in helping clinicians spot tiny lung nodules which, in a small number of patients, may indicate ...
Cancer 8 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
An attack on glioblastoma brain tumor cells that uses a modified poliovirus is showing encouraging results in an early study to establish the proper dose level, researchers at Duke Cancer Institute report.
Cancer 10 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
12 hours ago | 4.2 / 5 (5) | 0 |
10 hours ago | 4.9 / 5 (9) | 0 |
6 hours ago | 5 / 5 (3) | 0 |
5 hours ago | 3 / 5 (2) | 0
12 hours ago | 4.4 / 5 (5) | 0 |
7 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |