Researchers use turmeric spice to treat cancer
In cancer clinical studies, curcumin, a natural molecule related to turmeric, has been used to treat cancer patients.
Despite its known antitumor effects, drug development has lagged due to challenges involving its chemistry.
Now, a team of researchers at Kyoto University has developed a prodrug form of curcumin, TBP1901, that has shown anti-tumor effects without toxicities.
“Curcumin has long been used as a spice or food coloring, so we expect to see minimal side effects,” says lead author Masashi Kanai.
Curcumin, a natural polyphenol, has demonstrated promising efficacy against tumors in several preclinical models. Such studies have reported anecdotal evidence of curcumin’s effect in cancer patients.
However, curcumin’s limited bioavailability and low stability have hampered its clinical application to date.