A curcumin implant shrinks breast cancer tumors…

Well, well…a very interesting bit of news today. The gist: in order to get around the (well-known) problem of curcumin’s low bioavailability, researchers at the University of Louisville, Kentucky, created teeny tiny dissolvable capsules filled with curcumin, which they implanted in (breast) cancer-ridden mice. They also put another group of mice on a curcumin diet (=the control group). Here are the links to a couple of online newspaper articles (easy to read):

Daily Mail, UK: http://goo.gl/rWTQVR

Medical Daily: http://goo.gl/HsLcBM

I was sorry to read that the curcumin diet (by the way, it was a curcumin, NOT a curry diet!) was ineffective. We have to keep in mind, though, that we are humans, NOT mice…and so I will continue to put some curcumin powder in my food, whenever possible…I just put some in Stefano’s homemade broth that I had for lunch, in fact…yummmmmmmmy!

For more details, here’s the direct link to the study abstract (not so easy to read): http://goo.gl/8CSCm7

Here’s the most important part: the curcumin IMPLANT decreased the size of the tumors in these poor mice, AND it slowed down the reproduction rate of their cancer cells. Significantly, I would like to add…

Now, this is great news for cancer patients who have solid tumors, since the capsules could be implanted at the site of the tumor (= this is all theoretical, since the research is still in the “in vivo” lab stage, of course) . For those of us who have a type of blood cancer, well, it’s not as exciting, since, uh, where would we have the capsule or capsules implanted? Inside our bone marrow? Ah, if only it were so easy…

I have to admit, though, that whenever I read news reports like these, even about other types of cancer, I still get excited. And here’s why: curcumin is increasingly being talked about and studied in labs and clinical trials, AND our myeloma/cancer specialists are beginning to acknowledge that curcumin may be helpful at least for some of us. And they aren’t rolling their eyes as much, either. ;-) Incidentally, I’m 100% sure that we, the patients, have brought about this change. So…KUDOS to all of us! :-)

A final, quick note before I get back to work: I’ve written many posts about the issue of curcumin’s low bioavailability (you can find them by doing a “search” of my website). Thing is, curcumin is NOT A DRUG and cannot therefore be expected to behave like one. In other words, the fact that it doesn’t show up much in our bloodstream (= a conventional measure of a drug’s bioavailability) shouldn’t surprise us. Of course, if we could somehow inject it right into our cancer cells…(ah, if only it were so easy…!)…

But let’s not forget this: a few years ago Prof. Aggarwal told me (in an email, in answer to one of my questions) that curcumin is absorbed by our tissues within a few minutes of ingestion. Ah.

And that’s good enough for me…At least, until a better, non-toxic sort of curcumin is put on the market…  :-)