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Capability of curry component to treat disease merits US patent
Date:6/12/2012

A U.S patent issued today to the University of Rochester and two other entities for the use of compounds related to a popular spice in the fight against cancer, acne, baldness, and other medical conditions.

The patent centers on compounds related to curcumin, the compound that is the main ingredient of the spice turmeric and a central ingredient of curry. The patent is for research led by Chawnshang Chang, Ph.D., director of the George Whipple Laboratory for Cancer Research at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Chang is one of many researchers worldwide investigating the potential biomedical benefits of compounds related to curcumin, the spice that typically gives mustard and curry their bright yellow colors. Two dozen patents dating back to 2004 have been issued to the University for Chang's work on compounds related to curcumin, which is a member of the ginger family of spices. Patents have been issued in China, Europe, New Zealand, Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Australia, as well as the United States.

Chang's work at the University is licensed to AndroScience Corp. of San Diego, a biotech company co-founded by Chang. The University owns a stake in the company.

The patent focuses on the potential for compounds related to curcumin to fight prostate, bladder, liver, and other forms of cancer related to male hormones, as well as conditions like acne, baldness, enlarged prostate, and excessive growth of body hair. Those conditions and others involve the androgen receptor, which is best known as the molecule through which the hormone testosterone acts in both men and women.

Chang is developing molecules known as "androgen receptor degradation enhancers" that would degrade the androgen receptor. The work aims at developing compounds that treat conditions like prostate cancer and acne more effectively, with fewer side effects, than current medications.

For centuries, curcumin has been used to treat a
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Contact: Tom Rickey
tom_rickey@urmc.rochester.edu
585-275-7954
University of Rochester Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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