MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Ulrich Pfeffer, PhD
Head of the Functional Genomics lab
IRCCS AOU San Martino – IST Istituto Nazionale per la Ricerca sul Cancro
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Curcumin is well known as a dietary integrator and in alternative medicine. Many previous studies showed its anti-cancer and many other beneficial activities. We and others had shown that these activities rely on its ability to reduce inflammation, which is an important factor in cancer development. This activity had also been described in much detail. It appears that curcumin inhibits the master regulator of the inflammatory program, the so called Nuclear factor kappa B, NFκB.
In the present study, we asked whether Curcumin also affects tumor cell metabolism and if so, how. We show that curcumin inhibits a central enzyme of the cell metabolism, the ATP-Synthase, that stands at the end of the chain that burns sugar and produces energy. In tumor cells, this also leads to the production of reactive oxygen species, ROS, that kill the cancer cell. Continue reading