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  • Curcumin as an adjuvant treatment for high-grade gliomas: a lesson from ancient medicine

    Final Number:
    1405

    Authors:
    Ashish Harish Shah BS; Regina Graham; Amade Bregy MD PhD; Gregor Rodriguez; Steven Vanni; Ricardo Jorge Komotar MD

    Study Design:
    Laboratory Investigation

    Subject Category:

    Meeting: Congress of Neurological Surgeons 2013 Annual Meeting

    Introduction: Despite the standard care (surgical resection, radiation therapy, chemotherapy) for glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), survival rates typically do not exceed two years. Therefore, there has been a recent push to discover new therapeutics or re-discover older medications that may increase the overall survival of patients with GBM. Curcumin, a natural component of the Indian spice, turmeric, is a well-known anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory, which has been found to be an effective inhibitor of proliferation and inductor of apoptosis in many cancers. Its use in a wide variety of GBM cell lines has yet to be demonstrated.

    Methods: We aimed to investigate the expanded utility of curcumin as an anto-neoplastic agent for individualized GBM patient cell lines after surgical resection. With patient consent, we cultured several individual patient primary GBM cell lines after surgical resection. Cell viability and proliferation were assayed in vitro. Assays for common tumorigenic pathways including the Notch and PI3K pathway were performed for each cell line.

    Results: Our results indicate the curcumin has an IC50 at doses of 30 µM in two out of three patient derived cell lines. The third cell line reached IC50 at higher doses at 45 µM. The IC50 of GBM cell lines 1 and 3 were found to be statistically significantly lower than the fourth GBM cell line.

    Conclusions: Based on the results of these studies, curcumin may be an effective agent in inhibiting proliferation and inducing apoptosis in certain subpopulations of GBMs and other gliomas in vitro. Many studies in the literature demonstrate curcumin’s low toxicity to healthy cells as well as increased bioavailability in brain tissue due to its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier. The results from our studies merit that curcumin may be an effective agent for malignant gliomas depending on each patients specific therapeutic susceptibility. Further in vivo studies for each individualized patient must be conducted to assess for safety and efficacy.

    Patient Care: As a safe and efficiacious therapeutic, curcumin may potentially used for clinical trials for glioblastoma patients that possess susceptible phenotypes. To date, human experiments using curcumin as an adjuvant after gross total resection have not been performed. Our experiments are an initial step to creating the translational science foundation for potential clinical trials.

    Learning Objectives: Each GBM cell line may have heterogeneous susceptibility to various therapeutic medications. The use of curcumin may be a potential for certain tumors that possess specific phenotypes.

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