Bubbles loaded with curcumin help beat colon cancer
Published: 01 September 2014
Bubbles loaded with a curcumin a popular curry ingredient may help fight colon cancer. Early studies revealed curcumin, the yellow pigment of turmeric has been shown to slow the growth and spread of some cancers. It has even shown to kill various types of cancer cells in laboratory dishes. The spice can boost the effectiveness of chemotherapy and make it better at killing colon cancer cells, according to a study at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.
Scientist efforts to turn curcumin into a treatment was hampered before because curcumin is hard for the body to absorb so large doses must be taken to reach the colon. Now, cancer specialist have developed a new way to get curcumin to the target using exosomes – bubbles or fat – found in in fruit plants. Researchers at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center in the U.S. are testing whether exosomes taken from fruit plants can be used to deliver the curcumin to tumours in the colon.
The bubbles are easily absorbed by cells in the colon, so wrapping the curcumin means the bubbles transport it into the colon tissue where it can attack the cancer. Scientists have developed a way to get the curcumin to stick to the fat bubbles by spinning them together in a centrifuge. Both fruit exosomes and curcumin are unlikely to generate any side-effects because they are consumed daily by millions of people.
‘This clinical trial is at an early stage and must establish that this new technology is a safe way for people to be given curcumin. Clinical trials are still ongoing, and it will be interesting to see if this new way of delivering it directly to the tumour increases its potency,’ said Dr. Emma Smith, senior information officer at Cancer Research UK.