Curry spice component may help slow prostate Ca growth

March 7, 2012

Curcumin, an active component of the Indian curry spice turmeric, may help slow down tumor growth in castration-resistant prostate cancer patients on androgen deprivation therapy, report researchers from Thomas Jefferson University?s Kimmel Cancer Center, Philadelphia.

Curcumin, an active component of the Indian curry spice turmeric, may help slow down tumor growth in castration-resistant prostate cancer patients on androgen deprivation therapy, report researchers from Thomas Jefferson University’s Kimmel Cancer Center, Philadelphia.

Senior author Karen Knudsen, PhD, and colleagues observed in a pre-clinical study that curcumin suppresses two known nuclear receptor activators, p300 and CPB (or CREB1-binding protein), which have been shown to work against ADT.

In the study, which was published in Cancer Research (2012; 72:1248-59), prostate cancer cells were subjected to hormone deprivation in the presence and absence of curcumin with "physiologically attainable" doses. Curcumin augments the results of ADT and reduced cell number compared to ADT alone, the authors found. Moreover, the spice was found to be a potent inhibitor of both cell cycle and survival in prostate cancer cells.

To help support their findings, the researchers also investigated curcumin in mice, which were castrated to mimic ADT. They were randomized into two cohorts: curcumin and control. Tumor growth and mass were significantly reduced in the mice with curcumin.

These data demonstrate for the first time that curcumin not only hampers the transition of ADT-sensitive disease to castration resistance, but also is effective in blocking the growth of established castrate-resistant prostate tumors.

"This study sets the stage for further development of curcumin as a novel agent to target androgen receptor signaling," Dr. Knudsen said. "It also has implications beyond prostate cancer, since p300 and CPB are important in other malignancies, like breast cancer. In tumors where these play an important function, curcumin may prove to be a promising therapeutic agent."

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