Curcumin, also known as diferuloylmethane, is a phytochemical derived from Curcuma longa. It has many anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties following oral or topical administration[2-4]. It works by inhibiting several cell signaling pathways at multiple levels, affecting cellular enzymes like cyclooxygenase and glutathione S-transferases, immuno-modulation, and effects on angiogenesis and cell-cell adhesion. It also restrains the activation of the NF-κβ factor, which plays a critical role in establishing the relation between inflammation and cancer. The anticarcinogenic properties of curcumin have been bespeaks by its inhibition in tumor initiation and proliferation. The chemo preventive nature of curcumin is because of the induction of programmed cell death, i.e. apoptosis by several pathways. Curcumin decimates the cell by the following means:- caspase activation, DNA damage, the release of apoptosis-inducing factors(AIFs), inhibit growth factors and their receptors, and many more.
Over the past decade, several mono-targeted “smart” drugs have made an appearance in the market but with tremendous adverse effects, cost, and target only a single pathway in multi signaling disease like cancer, therefore less effective . Unlike mono targeted ‘smart’ drugs, curcumin is multitargeted, inexpensive, non-injurious, and widely available nutraceutical for preventing and treating diseases. As curcumin is highly pleiotropic, it binds by multiple forces with numerous signaling molecules to cure devilish diseases like cancer. In turmeric, curcumin content is only 3%, because of which it is poorly absorbed in the bloodstream. Consuming it as a tea or spice will not reap all the health benefits of curcumin. However, if we take it with pepper or fats, absorption in the intestine will increase. Alternatively, if curcumin was given intravenously, 100% absorption in the blood and body will occur. Stage four cancer patients resistant to all kinds of other cancer therapies show disease regression after taking curcumin intravenously. Curcumin IV drip therapy should be administered twice a week for 60-90 mins.
Studies show that when curcumin is administered along with radiotherapy, it alleviates the side effects like nausea, vomiting, throat ulcers, fatigue, weakness, etc. Because curcumin is antimutagenic and anti-angiogenic, it prevents the mutations leading to cancer and ceases the formation of new blood vessels to supply tumor cells, respectively. Curcumin IV therapy is beneficial for numerous cancers like breast cancer, lung cancer, leukemia, gastric cancer, pancreatic cancer but primarily for colorectal cancer[9 . The most promising evidence now is working in tandem with chemotherapy drugs, including imatinib, FOLFOX, leucovorin, 5 fluorouracil, and oxaliplatin. Usually, liposome-encapsulated curcumin is administered as it improves the efficacy of the treatment.
BENEFITS OF CURCUMIN IV THERAPY COMPREHENDS:-
- (A) Increment in the body weight of colorectal cancer patients after diagnosis and before surgery.
- (B) Mitigate several adverse effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy like nausea, throat ulcers, fatigue, vomiting, etc .
- (C) It alleviates the pain and inflammation in breast cancer patients receiving adjuvant hormone therapies in combination with hydroxytyrosol and omega-3-fatty acids16].
- (D) Improves the quality of life.
- (E) Minimizes the risk of developing cancer.
Despite having numerous benefits, one should be cautious while administering curcumin IV therapy because curcumin suppresses the synthesis of hepcidin which is a regulator of iron metabolism and bonds with ferric ion to form ferric-curcumin complex, therefore, inhibit the iron absorption and cause iron deficiency in a dose-dependent manner(permissible limit of curcumin is 12g/day for several months) . Also, it can minimize the effectiveness of tamoxifen in breast cancer patients. Other side effects include:-
- (A) Gastrointestinal disturbances like loose stools, bloating, abdominal discomfort.
- (B) Should not be consumed before surgery as it suppresses platelet aggregation and will cause bleeding.
- (C) Short term rise in liver enzymes. Pregnant or lactating women should ask a doctor before going for such therapy.
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