Cancer is a group of diseases used to describe the condition in which cells in the body start dividing uncontrollably and spread throughout the body invading other tissues and organs.
More than 100 different kinds of cancer exist in nature. It is a fatal condition. Therefore, its early prevention and treatment are very important.
Nf-kB is a group of transcription factors that play a significant role in generating immune responses in our bodies.
However, its activation and subsequent oncogenic regulation also lead to cancer initiation and progression. Thus, inhibition of NF-kB signalling pathways involved in its activation is necessary to treat cancer.
Turmeric is one of the many spices present in every kitchen and can be very useful in the treatment of cancer. It is enriched with a polypenolic compound called Curcumin which has potent anti-cancer properties.
Scientists from Emory University, Atlanta conducted a research to determine the role of Curcumin and its analogues EF-31 and UBS-109 in inhibiting NF-Kb and hence producing anti-cancer activity.
In vivo studies were carried out in a xenograft mouse model and various techniques like HUVEC tube formation assay, matrigel plug assay, Western blotting, were used to assess their effect on angiogenesis i.e. development of new blood vessels in the body.
Human colon cancer cells were treated with Curcumin, EF-31 and UBS-109 and it was found that they blocked the assembly of HUVEC tube, vascularization of matrigel plug, colorectal cell xenograft growth and angiogenesis by inhibiting the synthesis of VEGF protein responsible for it.
These results were produced as a consequence of their inhibitory effects on NF-kB and HIF-1 alpha.
The study suggests that Curcumin and its analogues are highly efficient anti-cancer agents.
They inhibit the translocation of NF-kB from the cytoplasm to the nucleus and the signalling pathways involved in its activation, hence, reducing tumour growth and angiogenesis.