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Curcumin and First-Line Herceptin Monotherapy (Part 2)

April 13, 2011

continuation of a 2 part series..

Some of the BC patients I have talked to about the idea of conducting a laboratory trial comparing the effectiveness of either Curcumin only or Curcumin + Herceptin or Herceptin only for Her2+ BC patients, told me I am getting nuts or that I have high hopes for myself-just even thinking about it.. Apparently there has been a clinical studies conducted to compare the effectiveness of Curcumin only or Curcumin + Taxol (chemo drug) or Taxol only for mice with breast cancer. I hope that they perform these trials on humans as well. I hope a big organization like Life Extensions can sponsor these trials, since they have been selling Curcumin supplements anyway. This would mean that millions of women who cannot afford chemo and Herceptin can now have access to cancer treatments that are available in every kitchen.

Curcumin Story

excerpt from:

Of significant interest to women is that curcumin appears to have a therapeutic potential for preventing breast cancer metastasis. In the publication ‘Phytopharmaceuticals in Cancer Chemoprevention’, Prof Aggarwal and colleagues they say that when it comes to HER2 positive breast cancers, curcumin down regulates the activity of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor and expression of HER2/neu. The researchers say “curcumin depletes cells of HER2/neu protein”. If this is true it has huge implications. A study conducted at Dept of Oncology, National Taiwan University Hospital and reported in “Clinical Cancer Research” seems to confirm this. They say “The erbB2/neu gene (also known as HER-2) encodes a 185-kDa protein that has tyrosine kinase activity. The amount of P185neu protein on the cell membrane was drastically reduced after curcumin treatment.” It is worth noting that the drug Herceptin was developed to achieve the same outcome. Prof Aggarwal was one of the head cancer researchers at Genentech, the company behind Herceptin. It would be certainly be very interesting to run a laboratory trial comparing Herceptin with curcumin.

Aside from the Her2 receptors, which Herceptin targets, it also works on other factors that inhibits the growth, mulitplication of cancer cells, and also prevents the cancer cells from building blood vessels and attach themselves to surrounding tissues. There have been numerours clinical trials completed and conducted on this but it seems it is not getting the right attention it deserves. Herceptin/Genentech sure has the sophisticated marketing machinery to advertise Herceptin as a miracle drug. Genetech creates hope for people who have enough money or insurance coverage to be cured of cancer, but what do they have to offer to average people who live on average income? If let us say, Curcumin sure have enough efficacy to compete with Herceptin, why are they not advertising that this is an alternative to Herceptin? Aaaah! Just thinking out loud. If there is going to have another round of fund-raising for prevention of Breast Cancer or finding a cure for cancer, I would be among the frontliners to say– I am donating a pittance of a percentage of my salary for the clinical trials on Curcumin. A cry for scientists/doctors for them to stay true to the Hippocratic Oath.

Curcumin Trial:

Tested on mice with breast cancer (Taxol only or Curcumin only or Curcumin + Taxol)

Anectodal evidences

Clinical Studies presented by non-US based hospitals during the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium last December 2010
Role of the Atr Protein Kinase and Curcumin in Tumor-Stromal Interactions in Breast Cancer (by a hospital in Riyadh)

In-vitro and In-Vivo Comparison Study – potential utility of Curcumin on Her2+ Breast Cancer by a Taiwan hospital

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