Research is constantly being published with regards to the nutritive power of turmeric, and some of the latest research highlights the many ways in which this herb battles cancer. A recent study published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, for instance, found that a dose-dependent administration of curcumin effectively activated apoptosis of liver cancer cells, meaning it prompted these harmful cells to die. In their conclusion, the researchers involved with this study declared curcumin to be a "promising phytomedicine in cancer therapy."
Previous studies have arrived at similar conclusions, including a 2007 study published in the journal, Liver International. Researchers from the Department of Gastroenterology at the Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center in Israel tested the effects of curcumin in mice with chemical-induced liver damage. Compared to hepatic damaged mice not given curcumin, those given the spice effectively averted developing liver cirrhosis, an outcome that researchers attributed to turmeric's anti-inflammatory properties.
"As curcumin ingestion is safe in humans, it may be reasonable to assess in clinical studies the beneficial effect of curcumin in slowing the development of liver cirrhosis," wrote the authors in their conclusion.
One year later, in 2008, researchers out of Taiwan published a study verifying that curcumin can also benefit in the treatment of lung cancer. Not only did the spice demonstrate a unique ability to prevent cancer cells from invading and spreading, but it also activated key proteins responsible for naturally blocking and suppressing tumors from forming. The team from the National Yang-Ming University in Taipei ultimately declared that their findings support the application of curcumin in anti-cancer metastasis therapy.
And again in 2010, a study published in the Journal of Ovarian Research found that curcumin has another unique use in cancer treatment. Patients with ovarian cancer, which is difficult to treat conventionally due to chemotherapy and radiation resistance, can be effectively "pre-treated" with curcumin in order to improve the efficacy of conventional cancer treatment.
"Curcumin pre-treatment enhances chemo/radio-sensitization in ... ovarian cancer cells through multiple molecular mechanisms," wrote the authors, who are from the University of South Dakota, of this particular study. "[C]urcumin pre-treatment may effectively improve ovarian cancer therapeutics."