A study by researchers from Guangdong Medical University and the University of Macau in China showed that turmeric has potent anticancer properties. This finding, which was published in the journal Chinese Medicine, was based on in vitro tests involving essential oil and the compound called furanodiene from turmeric.
- Chemotherapy is a commonly used cancer treatment that’s known for its low efficacy and side effects, which include chemo-resistance.
- It is possible to overcome chemo-resistance by targeting the adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-binding cassette (ABC) transporters, inducing cell apoptosis, inhibiting DNA repair, regulating metabolic reprogramming, or using combination therapy. However, this is still a major challenge for chemotherapy.
- Natural products are great sources of bioactive compounds that can reverse chemo-resistance, enhance the efficacy of anticancer agents, and reduce the side effects of conventional therapies.
- Turmeric has shown potential use in overcoming chemo-resistance. However, prior to this study, there were no reports of the anticancer effects of turmeric essential oil and furanodiene on chemo-resistant cancer cells through the regulation of ABC transporters.
- In this study, the researchers observed the expression and function of ABC transporters of doxorubicin-resistant MCF-7 breast cancer cells. They then determined the effects of turmeric essential oil and furanodiene on ABC transporters and the viability of the cancer cells after treatment.
- The results showed that turmeric essential oil and furanodiene effectively reduced the viability of doxorubicin-resistant breast cancer cells. However, neither of them were responsible for inhibiting ABC transporters.
From these results, the researchers concluded that turmeric has potential use as a natural remedy against cancer. This is because of its potent anticancer effects on the doxorubicin-resistant breast cancer cells.
The full text of the study is available at this link.
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Zhong Z, Yu H, Wang S, Wang Y, Cui L. ANTI-CANCER EFFECTS OF RHIZOMA CURCUMAE AGAINST DOXORUBICIN-RESISTANT BREAST CANCER CELLS. Chinese Medicine. 29 August 2018;13(44). DOI: 10.1186/s13020-018-0203-z