Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Curcumin and black pepper combine to stop breast cancer tumor cells

Natural chemicals found in the spices turmeric and black pepper appear to stop the growth of breast tumors, according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center and published in the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment.

Researchers applied a solution containing both curcumin, found in turmeric, and piperine, which makes black pepper spicy, to breast cancer cells in a laboratory, using concentrations 20 times higher than those found in the human diet. They found that the solution hampered the ability of stem cells to propagate but did not affect the differentiation of normal breast cells.

"This shows that these compounds are not toxic to normal breast tissue," lead author Madhuri Kakarala said.

Cancer stem cells are the cells in tumors that allow it to keep growing without limit. Current chemotherapy treatments are unable to affect stem cells, which is part of the reason that cancers can spread and recur even in those undergoing treatment. Read more...

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