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Curcumin-Derived Compound Suppresses Breast Cancer Cell Growth

Posted Mar 15 2010 7:24am
The research on the potential breast cancer fighting benefits of curcumin (the main active component of the spice turmeric) continues to show good results.  As I indicated in two previous blogs, curcumin has been shown to block breast cancer stem cell renewal and to kill triple negative breast cancer cells in cell culture systems.  Breast cancer researchers have recently developed specific compounds derived from curcumin as a possible future breast cancer therapeutic.

In this new study , breast cancer researchers examined the effect of two curcumin-derived compounds called FLLL31 and FLLL32 on a cell signaling chemical (called STAT3) shown to be important for breast cancer cell survival and drug resistance.  The results of this cell culture study showed several positive effects of these curcumin-derived compounds, including
  • Inhibition of STAT3's ability to bind to cell DNA, this preventing multiple cancer processes,
  • Initiation of programmed cell death of breast cancer cells,
  • Reduction in the ability of breast cancer cells to form colonies and grow, and
  • Working together with the chemotherapy drug doxorubicin to kill breast cancer cells.
The last 4 or 5 months have shown us the potential benefits of curcumin as a cancer fighting spice.  These new studies have reported that curcumin or curcumin-derived compounds can kill breast cancer cells and/or inhibit their function.  However, it is important to remember that these studies have been done in cell culture systems and additional research will need to be conducted to determine whether oral consumption of curcumin has similar benefits for individuals with breast cancer.  While several clinical trials with curcumin are being conducted, few of these are specific to breast cancer.  While a lot of work still needs to be done, particularly human clinical trials where curcumin is given in the diet, turmeric with it's main active component curcumin, is a flavorful spice that can easily be used in many excellent recipes.

Read my book Fight Now: Eat & Live Proactively Against Breast Cancer at to learn about other cancer-fighting foods you can easily add to your diet in order to reduce breast cancer risk.
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