Saturday, June 24, 2006

Turmeric helps in breast cancer cure


Turmeric, the medicinal properties of which Ayurveda found millennia ago, is now recognized by modern scientific research as a cure for breast cancer. Its anti toxic properties were also widely known, from ancient times in India. Turmeric is an ingredient in many Ayurvedic medicines.

Houston : Oct 15, 2005. : In what may spell good news for people at advanced stages of breast cancer, researchers have discovered that curcumin - the main ingredient in the common Indian spice turmeric - is an `effective preventive`. Researchers at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Centre have found that curcumin, which gives Indian curry its yellow colour; inhibits metastasis in the lungs of mice afflicted with breast cancer.`We know that it`s an effective preventive at low doses, the question is whether larger doses can be therapeutic for disease sufferers,` Dr Bharat Aggarwal, of the experimental therapeutics department at the cancer centre, said. Though study results are early, researchers found the non-toxic natural substance not only repelled progression of the disease to the lungs, but also appeared to reverse the effects of paclitaxel taxol, a commonly prescribed chemotherapy for breast cancer that may trigger spread of the disease with use over a long period of time.`We are excited about the results of the study and the possible implications for taking the findings into the clinic in the next several years,` he said.

Advanced breast cancer is currently a difficult foe to fight with few proven treatments available after surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Because taxol is so toxic, it activates a protein that produces an inflammatory response that induces metastasis.

Curcumin suppresses this response, making it impossible for the cancer to spread. In fact, researchers found that adding curcumin to taxol actually enhances its effect.

Curcumin breaks down the dose, making the therapy less toxic and, just as powerful while delivering the same level of efficacy.Taxol is currently used as chemotherapeutic agent in breast cancers, but because the drug frequently induces resistance after prolonged use, it is not effective in treating metastatic breast cancer, says Aggarwal.

Researchers studied 60 mice with breast cancer, which were randomly assigned to one of four groups - control group, taxol only, curcumin only and the combination of taxol and curcumin. After the tumours grew to 10 mm in size, they were surgically removed, and the mice were fed powdered curcumin.

Source : PTI

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