Curcumin Very Helpful For Those With Resistance To Chemotherapy, Tamoxifen
According to breastcancerresearch.com, approximately 70% of breast cancers are estrogen receptor positive (ER+) at diagnosis. These patients are often recommended to have endocrine therapies that target estrogen receptors, such as the drug Tamoxifen.
Tamoxifen works by binding to tissues that use estrogen. This binding blocks the action of estrogen in the breast but mimics the action of estrogen in the bones and uterus. Tamoxifen is used to treat ER+ breast cancer in men and women and to prevent breast cancer in those at high risk.
Some People Are Resistant
Some people, however, are resistant to anti-estrogenic drugs like Tamoxifen, and also to certain chemotherapy drugs. See my article about chemoresistance, Chemo-Resistant Breast Cancers In The News. This has proven to be a huge problem for some patients.
According to breastcancerresearch.com development of resistance is a process that “appears to result from upregulation of growth factor and protein kinase signaling pathways that provide an alternate mechanism in support of tumor cell proliferation and survival.” So researchers are keen to identify or target the factors that come into play with endocrine resistance.
Some progressive oncologists are utilizing the chemosensitivity test for their patients who are resistant to certain chemo drugs. See my article If You Are Contemplating Chemotherapy, You Should Know About the Chemosensitivity Test.
Curcumin To The Rescue
The good news is that a new Chinese study, published in January 2013 in Molecules, indicates that curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, has been shown to be effective in helping to restore Tamoxifen sensitivity and also sensitizes cancer cells to chemotherapy, thus making the chemotherapy more effective. The researchers “discovered that curcumin treatment displayed anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic activities” and that the “findings suggested that curcumin alone and combinations of curcumin with endocrine therapy may be of therapeutic benefit for endocrine-resistant breast cancer. Click this link to read the Chinese study.
You can get curcumin in capsules in health food stores, you can also use turmeric in your cooking. Allrecipes.com has a big list of recipes that utilize turmeric. It’s a gorgeous spice and adds depth and flavor to your curries, as well as other dishes. I recommend turmeric in my page Diet and Cancer (scroll all the way to the bottom).
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