Colorectal cancer could meet its match in an unusual treatment: curcumin. The spice, which is an extract of the spice turmeric, could be an effective treatment against the deadly cancer, which researchers hope to prove.
The study will be conducted by researchers from the Experimental Cancer Medicine Center (ECMC) at the University of Leicester in the U.K. their hope is that the spice, which can be taken in tablet form, will show a positive effect on the cancer, slowing it down, or even stopping it.
William Stweard, the chief investigator and ECME director, stated that:
“Once bowel cancer has spread it is very difficult to treat, partly because the side effects of chemotherapy can limit how long patients can have treatment… The prospect that curcumin might increase the sensitivity of cancer cells to chemotherapy is exciting because it could mean giving lower doses, so patients have fewer side effects and can keep having treatment for longer.”
Dr Joanna Reynolds, Cancer Research U.K.’s Director of Centres, hopes that the curcumin extract tablets will help in the fight against colorectal cancer, which is the world’s third most common cancer. Reynolds says that:
“The Experimental Cancer Medicine Centres Network supports research into some of the most novel and exciting new anti-cancer therapies, often providing the first insights into their effect on cancer patients. By doing a clinical trial like this we will find out more about the potential benefits of taking large amounts of curcumin, as well as any possible side effects this could have for cancer patients.”
Turmeric is a part of the ginger family, and is a common ingredient in many Indian, Persian, and Thai dishes. The extract is what gives drink and food, like curry and Jaffa cakes, their bright coloring. The proposal states that the study will include 40 participants who have been diagnosed with the disease, and who have seen their cancer spread to the liver.
Three-fourths of the patients will receive curcumin tablets for a week, before undergoing FolFox, a chemotherapy treatment that is the usual treatment for the disease, while the remaining participants will only undergo Folfox. The study hopes to show that colorectal cancer patients who are also given curcumin tablets fare better.
Check out more information about colorectal cancer and curcumin here: