A new study shows that Curcumin- the yellow pigment found in the curry spice turmeric, inhibits melanoma cell growth and kills tumor cells. It has already been demonstrated that the spice has an anti-cancer effect.
Incidence of melanoma, or skin cancer, is increasing rapidly in many with more than 70,000 cases of melanoma and non-melanoma reported each year. In the present study, three melanoma cell lines were treated with curcumin at different doses and for different duration.
Results show that curcumin treatment decreased cell viability in all three-cell lines in a dose-dependent manner in addition to inducing apoptosis in tumor cells at high concentrations for short periods of time and low concentrations for long periods of time.
Curcumin was found to suppress two specific proteins normally part of an intracellular pathway that prevents apoptosis when stimulated. Curcumin partially inhibited NF-ęB and strongly inhibited its upstream stimulator and another independent inhibitor of apoptosis, IKK. However, it did not suppress two other signaling pathways associated with melanomas and tumor proliferation, B-Raf/MEK/ERK and Akt pathways.
Based on the studies, we conclude the curcumin is a potent suppressor of cell viability and inducer of apoptosis in melanoma cell lines and future investigation to determine the effects of curcumin in animal models of melanoma and clinical trials would be helpful.