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Karmanos Researchers Find Non-Toxic Agents Added to Conventional Chemotherapy Decrease Survival of Colon Cancer Cells

SAN DIEGO, April 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Researchers from the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit today presented findings showing that adding curcumin or resveratrol to conventional chemotherapy could be effective in preventing the growth of chemo-resistant colon cancer cells. The poster presentation was delivered at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA.

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Anti-inflammatory properties and other health benefits have long been associated with curcumin and resveratrol. Curcumin, from the ginger family, is in the Indian curry spice turmeric and is prevalent throughout India and Southeast Asia. Resveratrol is produced naturally by plants and is found in the skin of red grapes and in peanuts.

Karmanos researchers investigated whether the addition of non-toxic substances curcumin and resveratrol to chemotherapy (FOLFOX) would decrease the survival of colon cancer cells. Studies confirmed that both are effective and inhibit the growth of new colon cancer cells, with curcumin appearing to be superior.

Adhip Majumdar, Ph.D., D.Sc., Bhaumik B. Patel, M.D., Deep-Shikha Gupta, and Vivek Sengupta from Karmanos and Wayne State University, performed a 48-hour treatment of colon cancer HCT-116 or HT-29 cells with FOLFOX (25 micrometers 5-FU+0.625 micrometers oxaliplatin). When FOLFOX surviving colon cancer cells were treated for another 48-hours with FOLFOX together with curcumin or resveratrol, the combination therapy showed a better response rate.

"Patients with advanced colon cancer often have a cancer recurrence resulting from cancer cells that survive chemotherapy. This research could eventually lead to a more robust therapy, particularly if we can lower the dose of chemotherapy, and add non-toxic agents," said Dr. Majumdar.

"Some day the addition of curcumin or resveratrol could become a treatment strategy for colon cancer patients and help prolong life. Currently, despite advances in medicine, mortality rates remain unacceptably high for late stage disease. Our work is helping to lay the ground work for future clinical trials," added Dr. Patel.

About the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute

Located in mid-town Detroit, MI, the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute is one of 39 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the United States. Caring for more than 6,000 new patients annually on a budget of $216 million, conducting more than 700 cancer-specific scientific investigation programs and clinical trials, the Karmanos Cancer Institute is among the nation's best cancer centers. Through the commitment of 1,000 staff, including nearly 300 faculty members, and supported by thousands of volunteer and financial donors, the Institute strives to prevent, detect and eradicate all forms of cancer. John C. Ruckdeschel, M.D., is the Institute's president and chief executive officer. For more information call 1-800-KARMANOS or go to

American Association for Cancer Research

The mission of the American Association for Cancer Research is to prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1907, AACR is the world's oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research. The AACR Annual Meeting attracts more than 17,000 participants who share the latest discoveries and developments in the field.

SOURCE Karmanos Cancer Institute
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