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Topical curcumin-based cream is equivalent to dietary curcumin in a skin cancer model.

Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Shreveport, LA 71130-3932, USA.
Journal of skin cancer 01/2012; 2012:147863. DOI: 10.1155/2012/147863
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Skin squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), the most common cancer in the USA, is a growing problem with the use of tanning booths causing sun-damaged skin. Antiproliferative effects of curcumin were demonstrated in an aggressive skin cancer cell line SRB12-p9 (P < 0.05 compared to control). Topical formulation was as effective as oral curcumin at suppressing tumor growth in a mouse skin cancer model. Curcumin at 15 mg administered by oral, topical, or combined formulation significantly reduced tumor growth compared to control (P = 0.004). Inhibition of pAKT, pS6, p-4EBP1, pSTAT3, and pERK1/2 was noted in SRB12-p9 cells post-curcumin treatment compared to control (P < 0.05). Inhibition of pSTAT3 and pERK1/2 was also noted in curcumin-treated groups in vivo. IHC analysis revealed human tumor specimens that expressed significantly more activated pERK (P = 0.006) and pS6 (P < 0.0001) than normal skin samples. This is the first study to compare topical curcumin to oral curcumin. Our data supports the use of curcumin as a chemopreventive for skin SCC where condemned skin is a significant problem. Prevention strategies offer the best hope of future health care costs in a disease that is increasing in incidence due to increased sun exposure.

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    ABSTRACT: Nonmelanoma skin cancers, including basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, are common neoplasms worldwide and are the most common cancers in the United States. Standard therapy for cutaneous neoplasms typically involves surgical removal. However, there is increasing interest in the use of topical alternatives for the prevention and treatment of nonmelanoma skin cancer, particularly superficial variants. Botanicals are compounds derived from herbs, spices, stems, roots, and other substances of plant origin and may be used in the form of dried or fresh plants, extracted plant material, or specific plant-derived chemicals. They possess multiple properties including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory properties and are, therefore, believed to be possible chemopreventive agents or substances that may suppress or reverse the process of carcinogenesis. Here, we provide a review of botanical agents studied for the treatment and prevention of nonmelanoma skin cancers.
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