How Do I Understand Curcumin’s Impact?
A case report published by the Department of Haematology of Barts Health NHS Trust in London, UK shows that daily curcumin supplementation may be beneficial for patients suffering from myeloma.
Myeloma, a cancer that plagues plasma cells in the bone marrow, affects an estimated 0.7-0.8 percent of men and woman at some point in their lives. The survival rate of those suffering from myeloma and living five years or more after their initial diagnosis is roughly 50 percent. Myeloma will often travel through remission and relapse periods, leading to eventual increased resistance to treatment and progressively shorter remission periods. If someone has gone through multiple remission and relapse periods, treatment options could be exhausted and/or the malignant cells could present as resistant.
The woman presented in this case study was diagnosed with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) at the age of 47 (in 2007). MGUS does not produce symptoms and may not require treatment, unless it progresses. Within a short 15 months, the patient’s MGUS progressed and she decided to initiate CTD treatment with cyclophosphamide (a chemotherapy drug), thalidomide (a targeted therapy drug) and dexamethasone (a steroid), which has shown to be fairly effective for those suffering from myeloma.
However, CTD treatment was halted due to an adverse reaction within a week, but it did yield some positive response with fighting the myeloma. Two alternative drug combinations were offered with the inclusion of bortezomib (a targeted therapy drug) and lenalidomide (an immunomodulatory agent) and both found little success with treating the myeloma. After three failed medication attempts, the patient began stem cell mobilization, which allows for stem cells to be collected and stored for further research and/or use. This was also unsuccessful.
Finally, CTD treatment was cautiously initiated again and the patient did respond well, but the harvesting of stem cells failed and the patient appeared to run out of conventional treatment options.
In 2011, the patient began to orally incorporate 8 grams of curcumin, which is the active component of turmeric, combined with bioperine into her nightly routine on an empty stomach. In conjunction, hyperbaric oxygen therapy was initiated once per week to increase oxygen delivery by the blood to promote further healing.
The patient continues to take 8 grams of curcumin with bioperine along with hyperbaric oxygen therapy in the absence of conventional medicinal treatment. Over the past five years, the patient’s myeloma has been stable and her quality of life has maintained.
Curcumin has been touted for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant capabilities, specifically in regard to cancer treatment. These studies primarily focus on in vitro outcomes, like this study, which showed that curcumin slowed the growth of human colon cancer cells in vitro. However, oral curcumin is less studied in active disease, and the mechanism of how oral curcumin works with cancer cells is less known.
This case study is incredibly promising and warrants the need to further research and observation within large clinical trials. The woman in this case report is currently taking a C3 Complex Curcumin with bioperine like this one from Sabinsa, sold by America’s Finest, Inc.
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