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Turmeric (Yellow Spice) used In Indian Cooking fights Breast Cancer (Yahoo)

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  • raosam2001
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20050609/hl_nm/cancer_turmeric_dc Yahoo! News Turmeric fights breast cancer in mice - study By Maggie Fox, Health and Science
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 10, 2005
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      Yahoo! News
      Turmeric fights breast cancer in mice - study

      By Maggie Fox, Health and Science CorrespondentThu Jun 9, 4:19
      PM ET

      Turmeric, a yellow spice used widely in Indian cooking, may help

      stop the spread of cancer, U.S. researchers reported on


      Tests in mice showed that curcumin, an active compound found in

      turmeric, helped stop the spread of breast cancer tumor cells to

      the lungs.

      Tests have already started in people, too, said Bharat Aggarwal

      of the Department of Experimental Therapeutics at the University

      of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, who led the


      "Here you don't need to worry about safety. The only thing we

      have to worry about is efficacy," Aggarwal said in a telephone


      "Curcumin, as you know, is very much an essential part of the

      Indian diet," he added.

      "What's exciting about this agent is that it seems to have both

      chemopreventive and therapeutic properties. If we can

      demonstrate that it is efficacious in humans, it could be of

      tremendous value, but we're a long way from being able to make

      any recommendations yet," Aggarwal said.

      Earlier research showed that curcumin, which acts as an

      antioxidant, can help prevent tumors from forming in the


      For their study, Aggarwal and colleagues injected mice with

      human breast cancer cells -- a batch of cells grown from a

      patient whose cancer had spread to the lungs.

      The resulting tumors were allowed to grow, and then surgically

      removed, to simulate a mastectomy, Aggarwal said. Then the mice

      either got no additional treatment; curcumin alone; the cancer

      drug paclitaxel, which is sold under the brand name Taxol; or

      curcumin plus Taxol.

      Half the mice in the curcumin-only group and 22 percent of those

      in the curcumin plus Taxol group had evidence of breast cancer

      that had spread to the lungs, Aggarwal said in a study to be

      presented to a breast cancer research meeting in Philadelphia.

      But 75 percent of animals that got Taxol alone and 95 percent of

      those that got no treatment developed lung tumors.

      Aggarwal said earlier studies suggest that people who eat diets

      rich in turmeric have lower rates of breast cancer, prostate

      cancer, lung cancer and colon cancer.

      His team would like to try giving curcumin to women who know

      they have a high risk of breast cancer -- such as those who have

      a mother or sister with the disease.

      No drug company is likely to develop a natural product that

      cannot be patented, he said. "There are no companies behind it

      so our only source of funding is either the National Institutes

      of Health or the Department of Defense," he said.

      This study was funded by the U.S. Department of Defense's Breast

      Cancer Research Program.

      Aggarwal's team is also testing curcumin against pancreatic

      cancer and multiple myeloma.
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