- Neuroblastomas are cancers that
occur in children below 5 years of age
- A new study has found that loading
nanoparticles with a turmeric component called curcumin can destroy
neuroblastoma tumor cells
- The findings show that
nanoparticles loaded with curcumin could be a novel method to treat
neuroblastoma without toxicity
A research team
at Nemours Children's Hospital and the University of Central Florida found that
attaching curcumin, the principal component of turmeric, to nanoparticles can
help to target and destroy treatment-resistant neuroblastoma tumor cells.
Cancer is one of
the leading causes of death worldwide. Scientists have been conducting various
research studies to find better ways to prevent and treat cancer. Cancer is
treated with various combinations of drugs and treatments. Now, scientists have
found that a common spice, turmeric, could be the key to cancer treatment.
‘Neuroblastoma tumor cells can become resistant to drug treatments. Nanoparticles loaded with curcumin were effective in destroying tumor cells without side effects.’
team demonstrated that nanoparticles loaded with turmeric component curcumin
could be a potentially novel treatment for neuroblastoma,
which is the most common
cancer in infants.
neuroblastoma is resistant to traditional therapy, and the survival is poor. A
novel approach to target neuroblastoma tumor cells with nanoparticle delivery
holds promise for the treatment of resistant tumors.
Loaded with Curcumin to Treat Neuroblastoma
shown that curcumin has anti-cancer properties, but, its low solubility and
poor stability have made its use challenging. The research team from Nemours
and UCF found that nanoparticles can be used to deliver curcumin to tumor
For the study,
the scientists loaded Cerium oxide nanoparticles with curcumin and coated them
with dextran to test cell lines of a high-risk form of neuroblastoma, known as
MYCN-amplified, as well as non-amplified neuroblastoma.
loaded with curcumin induced substantial cell death in neuroblastoma cells while
producing minor toxicity in healthy cells. The research team found that
nano-therapeutic treatments have a more pronounced effect in MYCN-amplified
cells, which are traditionally more resistant to drug therapies.
that nanoparticles can be an effective delivery vehicle for cancer drugs.
However, more research is needed, but we are hopeful it could lead to more
effective treatment of this devastating disease in the future," said Professor
Sudipta Seal, Director of UCF's NanoScience Technology Center and Advanced
Materials Processing Analysis Center.
research demonstrates a novel method of treating this tumor without the
toxicity of aggressive therapy that can also have late effects on the patient's
health. We are hopeful that in the future, nanoparticles can be utilized to
personalize care to patients and reduce the late effects of therapy," said
Tamarah J. Westmoreland, MD, PhD, a pediatric surgeon at Nemours Children's
Health System and senior author of the study.
The study is
published in Nanoscale
are cancers that often start in the embryo or fetus. Neuroblastomas occur in
early nerve cells and commonly form in the tissue of the adrenal glands. These
type of cancers occur in children younger than 5-years. High-risk neuroblastoma
is hard to treat and is more likely to become resistant to standard therapies,
or recur. High-risk neuroblastoma is also associated with late effects after
treatments have ended, including hearing loss, developmental delays, and other
- In the United States, about 700
new cases of neuroblastoma are diagnosed each year
- One out of three neuroblastomas
starts in the adrenal glands
- One out of four neuroblastomas
begins in sympathetic nerve ganglia in the abdomen
- About 90% of the neuroblastoma
cases are diagnosed by age 5
- Neuroblastoma is rare in children
over the age of 10 years
- About 50-60% of high-risk
neuroblastoma patients will have a relapse
- Irina Kalashnikova, Joseph Mazar, Craig J. Neal, Amy L. Rosado, Soumen Das, Tamarah J. Westmoreland, Sudipta Seal. Nanoparticle delivery of curcumin induces cellular hypoxia and ROS-mediated apoptosis via modulation of Bcl-2/Bax in human neuroblastoma. Nanoscale, 2017; 9 (29): 10375 DOI: 10.1039/C7NR02770B