MIYAZAKI, JAPAN. Curcumin is a constituent of the spice turmeric. It is non-toxic and several studies have documented its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-carcinogenic properties. Japanese researchers now report that curcumin is effective in inhibiting the growth of human pancreatic cancer cells. Pancreatic cancer cells, along with other cancer cells produce an inflammatory cytokine, Interleukin-8 (IL-8) that helps the cancer cells to grow. IL-8, in turn, needs nuclear factor kappaB (NF-KB) in order to reproduce. The researchers found that both IL-8 and NF-KB in pancreatic cancer cells are inhibited by curcumin. This, in turn, inhibits further growth of the cancer cells.
The researchers conclude that curcumin reduces numerous IL-8 bioactivities that promote tumour cell
viability and tumour progression. They suggest that curcumin may be beneficial for patients with carcinoma
affected by the enhanced production of pro-inflammatory cytokines.