Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) scientists recently cooked up something entirely different. In an effort to create a new and effective cancer treatment, they combined features of thalidomide, a familiar pharmaceutical anti-nausea medication, with those of turmeric, a common kitchen spice. What did they find? The hybrid molecules they created from the two wildly different ingredients proved effective in killing multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells, the white blood cells that produce antibodies.
“Overall, the combination of the spice and the drug was significantly more potent than either individually, suggesting that this hybrid strategy in drug design could lead to novel compounds with improved biological activities,” Steven Grant, M.D., research member at VCU Massey Cancer Center, stated in a press release.