Drug resistance is a common problem in the treatment of pancreatic cancer. A new study shows promise that curcumin (a compound found in turmeric) may be able to help to overcome resistance to chemotherapy.
Curcumin is well known for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective and anticarcinogenic properties, but because of its rapid metabolism and elimination from the body, more studies are needed to confirm its therapeutic benefits.
The study by Goel et al. of the Baylor Scott & White Research Institute in Dallas, Texas specifically investigated curcumin in combination with chemotherapy in treatment of pancreatic cancer cells. Small doses of curcumin were able to reverse the pathways that cause resistance to chemotherapy. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study that shows the beneficial effect of the plant extract in combination with chemotherapy and its advantages in overcoming drug resistance.
Dr Goel and his team are hopeful about curcumin’s unique healing potential. ‘Food-based botanicals have the potential to restore a healthier gene expression in patients but without the toxicity of certain drugs,’ he concludes.