Curcumin Is A Triple Negative Breast Cancer Killer
Posted on: Tuesday, October 23rd 2012 at 5:00 am
Written By: Sayer Ji, Founder
A new study from Zheijian Provincial People’s Hospital in Zheijiang, China indicates that a compound in turmeric known as curcumin, which gives the spice its characteristic saffron-like color, is capable of inducing programmed cell death (apoptosis) within triple negative breast cancer cells.1
Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC), so named because the cells do not have the characteristic receptors for estrogen, progesterone and Her2/neu, is considered the most treatment resistant, primarily because these ‘missing receptors’ are required for many of the most popular conventional treatments to work, e.g. Tamoxifen targets estrogen receptors. For this reason, TNBC is considered the most aggressive, the most likely to be treated with less-targeted (and therefore more toxic) forms of chemotherapy, and the soonest to return when treatment fails.
Approximately 15-25% of all breast cancer cases are triple negative. Unfortunately, however, the most visible non-profit foundation dedicated to bringing awareness to the condition, the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation, is focused almost exclusively on raising awareness and money for a future pharmaceutical “cure” – much in the same way as its partner, Susan G. Komen, and the larger breast cancer awareness organization, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, act as if removing and addressing the obvious causes of cancer, e.g. carcinogenic chemical and radiation exposures, were not the first priority. For those suffering through or recovering from treatment right now, or trying to decide what to do with a new diagnosis, this latest Chinese study is promising.
Detractors, of course, point out that this latest curcumin research occurred on the level of a cell study, which in the pyramidal power structure of “evidence-based medicine,” where the randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled human clinical study is the sole determinant of the ultimate truth, is the most insignificant, and least compelling as far informing treatment decisions. This view, however, is rather naive, insofar the criteria for determining a substance’s potential for future use as an FDA drug is not its effectiveness, safety or availability to those in need, rather, how proprietary and profitable the formula is to manufacture, distribute and market to consumers. The “gold standard” of evidence-based medicine therefore becomes literally: “those who own the gold make the standard.”
This is not the first study to reveal curcumin’s potential value in treating breast cancer. A growing body of experimental evidence clearly shows that curcumin provides a potential drug alternative. GreenMedInfo.com has indexed over 60 in vitro and animal studies demonstrating either curcumin’s direct anti-breast cancer activity, or, its ability to enhance breast cancer’s sensitivity to conventional chemotherapy. Also, the open access project has indexed over 1500 abstracts from the National Library of Medicine on its potential value in over 500 health conditions: Turmeric Breast Cancer.
Other pre-clinically confirmed natural candidates for combating triple negative breast cancer include:
For a far wider dataset on potential natural breast cancer solutions, and common avoidable causes, visit the GreenMedInfo.com Breast Cancer Research health guide: Natural Breast Cancer Research
1 Xiao-Dong Sun, Xing-E Liu, Dong-Sheng Huang. Curcumin induces apoptosis of triple-negative breast cancer cells by inhibition of EGFR expression. Mol Med Report. 2012 Sep 26. Epub 2012 Sep 26. PMID: 23023821
Sayer Ji is the founder and director of GreenMedInfo.com and co-author of the bookThe Cancer Killers: The Cause Is The Cure. His writings and research have been published in the Wellbeing Journal, the Journal of Gluten Sensitivity, and have been featured on Mercola.com, NaturalNews.com, Reuters.com, GaryNull.com, and Care2.com. Check out his newest project with co-author Tania Melkonian:EATomology: An Edible Philosophy of Food
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.
Curcumin’s ability to wage war on cancer stem cells further verified by research
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) Promising new research has demonstrated once again that the ingredient curcumin, which is the principal curcuminoid of the widely used Indian spice turmeric, a member of the ginger family, is a major cancer fighter, this time proving effective against esophageal cancer.
According to researchers at the University of Kansas’ Cancer Center and Medical Center, study results indicate that “curcumin inhibits the growth of esophageal cancer cell lines,” though how it works “is not well understood.”
The results of the study are especially noteworthy given that esophageal cancer is the eighth most common type of cancer in the world and the sixth most lethal.
This ‘novel’ cancer treatment works wonders
In the U.S. alone, between four and 10 persons for every 100,000 die from esophageal cancer every year. The disease mostly strikes men over the age of 50, according to published statistics.
In 2011, the American Cancer Society estimated that 16,980 Americans (13,450 men and 3,530 women) were diagnosed with the disease. The organization also estimated that a majority of those diagnosed with esophageal cancer – about eight in 10 – would die.
“Esophageal adenocarcinoma, the major form of esophageal cancer in the U.S., is the most rapidly rising cancer in the western world,” said a summary of the study’s results. “It is generally diagnosed at a late stage and has a poor prognosis, with a five-year survival of less than 10 percent.”
“Although the current treatment includes chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and, if possible, esophagogastric resection, many patients with esophageal adenocarcinoma experience progression of disease despite such treatment, suggesting that such tumors are resistant to standard therapy,” the summary said.
Enter curcumin therapy. Other “novel” forms of treatment and therapy have not proven as effective, say researchers, especially in patients who have advanced cancer.
“The magnitude of this problem mandates the need for novel therapeutic agents, specifically the use of agents for chemoprevention. This is most attractive for esophageal adenocarcinoma since a pre-malignant condition, Barrett’s esophagus, is a well-recognized lesion,” says the summary.
In short, a common form of cancer that is resistant to current standard treatments is being bested by treatment with an age-old spice.
“Curcumin seems to have multiple molecular targets and its enhanced potency in cancer in various cancer cell lines and xenograft tumors renders it a strong candidate for therapeutic applications for esophageal cancer as well as other cancers and inflammatory disease states,” said the study.
Dramatic reductions in the spread of cancer
Previous research has also found that curcumin – and its primary element, turmeric – have been found to reduce cancer growth and brain tumors as much as 81 percent.
“Used by ancient Chinese and Indian systems of medicine, curcumin has been shown to reduce brain tumor size by 81 percent in 9 out of 11 studies,” say researchers from the University of California-Los Angeles.
“Turmeric and curcumin are both extremely cheap methods of boosting your health, and are readily available almost worldwide,” said Mike Barrett, co-founder of alternative health organization, Natural Society. “The ubiquitous nature of turmeric both in the form of supplementation and spice sets up turmeric to be the next vitamin D over the next few years. As more medical professionals begin to recognize the benefits of turmeric and curcumin, a major media blitz will follow as it did regarding the multiple known effects of vitamin D.”
In the UCLA study, 21 participants who had contracted head and neck cancer saw the spread of their disease halted after being given chewable supplements containing 1,000 mg of curcumin each.
“Curcumin, the main component in the spice turmeric, suppresses a cell signaling pathway that drives the growth of head and neck cancer, according to a pilot study using human saliva by researchers at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center,” the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, said, confirming the university’s results.