From the blog

Curcumin Could Soon Be Used to Treat Mesothelioma

Published: March 24, 2020

Curcumin could soon be used to treat mesothelioma patients. It is a natural compound found in turmeric, a spice commonly found in Asian dishes. This natural compound has been used as an anti-inflammatory alongside other treatments, but it could soon be used as a standard mesothelioma treatment, which is what doctors in Philadelphia are hoping will happen. The study was published earlier in March and was conducted in Italy.

The reason that curcumin could be effective for mesothelioma is that it can stop the rapid growth of cancer cells in people’s bodies. It was found to block the growth of mesothelioma cells, but it is not very water soluble. This can be bad for patients because the medicine might not be absorbed as quickly or as well as other drugs. Doctors have struggled to find new ways to administer the drug to patients to make sure it is effective after being given to patients. One study looked at platinum-based chemotherapy used alongside curcumin in patients to try to make it more effective. Curcumin has only been effective in laboratory studies versus clinical studies, so doctors and researchers need to find more effective ways for curcumin to be administered to patients.

Despite the fact that there is no direct way to use the drug to treat patients, it can be given alongside platinum-based chemotherapy and it seems to work. The good thing is that when the compound is combined with other treatments it works very well. One cancer treatment center is using electric pulses to pretreat cancer cells before administering curcumin, which allows it to be more effective. Other research has looked at piperine being used alongside curcumin. Piperine is an alkaloid of black pepper and long pepper. It is known to have anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. When combined, the two substances work together to reduce tumors.

Mesothelioma is a very deadly and devastating cancer. There is currently no cure, but there are different clinical trials to help try to lengthen people’s lives. Clinical trials also create a chance that mesothelioma can be cured someday.  Not all clinical trials work for everyone, so finding the right clinical trial is critical. Speak with your doctor to find the right clinical trial for you.

Alfonso Baldi et al. “Curcumin as an Anticancer Agent in Malignant Mesothelioma: A Review” International Journal of Molecular Science (February 10, 2020). [Link]
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