Spice turmeric has long been touted as a cancer cure. It has never been turned into a functional drug, though. A prodrug version of the miracle spice has now been successfully developed thanks to a recent study.
In various preclinical models, turmeric, and more especially the chemical curcumin, has been shown to be effective in inhibiting tumor growth.
Pharmaceutical firms, however, have encountered numerous challenges when it comes to producing it as medicine.
But a team from Kyoto University was able to create the prodrug version of curcumin TBP1901, which has demonstrated anti-tumor properties without any toxicity.
The European Journal of Pharmacology published their study. We anticipate few side effects because curcumin has long been used as a spice or food coloring, according to lead scientist Masashi Kanai, as quoted by SciTechDaily.
Curcumin is a natural polyphenol whose low stability and restricted absorption have thus far limited its potential for therapeutic usage.
The study group determined the function of the enzyme GUSB in the transformation of TBP1901 into curcumin. On the basis of this supposition, the team hypothesized that animals with the genetically compromised enzyme GUSB would not undergo the drug’s conversion into curcumin.
Moreover, they discovered that curcumin has crucial therapeutic targets using a CRISPR-Cas9 screen approach. The therapeutic use of TBP1901 for conditions including multiple myeloma and leukemia is justified by the high rate of conversion of the drug to curcumin in bone marrow, according to Kanai.
The Japan Society for the Promotion of Science provided funding for the study. Recently, HA15, another medication, made headlines.
The medication is advertised as having dual benefits. Both cancer and COVID-19 can be defeated by it. According to co-author Amy S. Lee, professor of biochemistry and molecular medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, “we found that this drug was very effective in reducing the number and size of SARS-CoV-2 plaques produced in the infected cells, at safe doses that had no harmful effect on normal cells.”
The Keck School of Medicine research team also looked into the effectiveness of YUM70, another GRP78 inhibitor, and HA15 in treating cancer in a different trial. The study was carried out in association with academics from the US University of Michigan.