Journal Article

Lung tumor promotion by curcumin

Stephanie T. Dance-Barnes, Nancy D. Kock, Joseph E. Moore, Elaine Y. Lin, Libyadda J. Mosley, Ralph B. D'Agostino, Thomas P. McCoy, Alan J. Townsend and Mark Steven Miller

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 30, issue 6, pages 1016-1023
Published in print June 2009 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online April 2009 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI:
Lung tumor promotion by curcumin

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Curcumin exhibits anti-inflammatory and antitumor activity and is being tested in clinical trials as a chemopreventive agent for colon cancer. Curcumin's chemopreventive activity was tested in a transgenic mouse model of lung cancer that expresses the human Ki-rasG12C allele in a doxycycline (DOX) inducible and lung-specific manner. The effects of curcumin were compared with the lung tumor promoter, butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), and the lung cancer chemopreventive agent, sulindac. Treatment of DOX-induced mice with dietary curcumin increased tumor multiplicity (36.3 ± 0.9 versus 24.3 ± 0.2) and progression to later stage lesions, results which were similar to animals that were co-treated with DOX/BHT. Microscopic examination showed that the percentage of lung lesions that were adenomas and adenocarcinomas increased to 66% in DOX/BHT, 66% in DOX/curcumin and 49% in DOX/BHT/curcumin-treated groups relative to DOX only treated mice (19%). Immunohistochemical analysis also showed increased evidence of inflammation in DOX/BHT, DOX/curcumin and DOX/BHT/curcumin mice relative to DOX only treated mice. In contrast, co-treatment of DOX/BHT mice with 80 p.p.m. of sulindac inhibited the progression of lung lesions and reduced the inflammation. Lung tissue from DOX/curcumin-treated mice demonstrated a significant increase (33%; P = 0.01) in oxidative damage, as assessed by the levels of carbonyl protein formation, relative to DOX-treated control mice after 1 week on the curcumin diet. These results suggest that curcumin may exhibit organ-specific effects to enhance reactive oxygen species formation in the damaged lung epithelium of smokers and ex-smokers. Ongoing clinical trials thus may need to exclude smokers and ex-smokers in chemopreventive trials of curcumin.

Journal Article.  5245 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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