Spice Extract May Induce Death of Mesothelioma Cells

Treatment & Doctors
Reading Time: 2 mins
Publication Date: 05/20/2011
Fact Checked
Our fact-checking process begins with a thorough review of all sources to ensure they are high quality. Then we cross-check the facts with original medical or scientific reports published by those sources, or we validate the facts with reputable news organizations, medical and scientific experts and other health experts. Each page includes all sources for full transparency.

Asbestos.com is the nation’s most trusted mesothelioma resource

The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com has provided patients and their loved ones the most updated and reliable information on mesothelioma and asbestos exposure since 2006.

Our team of Patient Advocates includes a medical doctor, a registered nurse, health services administrators, veterans, VA-accredited Claims Agents, an oncology patient navigator and hospice care expert. Their combined expertise means we help any mesothelioma patient or loved one through every step of their cancer journey.

More than 30 contributors, including mesothelioma doctors, survivors, health care professionals and other experts, have peer-reviewed our website and written unique research-driven articles to ensure you get the highest-quality medical and health information.

About The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com

  • Assisting mesothelioma patients and their loved ones since 2006.
  • Helps more than 50% of mesothelioma patients diagnosed annually in the U.S.
  • A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
  • 5-star reviewed mesothelioma and support organization.
Learn More About Us


"My family has only the highest compliment for the assistance and support that we received from The Mesothelioma Center. This is a staff of compassionate and knowledgeable individuals who respect what your family is experiencing and who go the extra mile to make an unfortunate diagnosis less stressful. Information and assistance were provided by The Mesothelioma Center at no cost to our family."
Mesothelioma patient’s daughter
  • Google Review Rating
  • BBB Review Rating

How to Cite Asbestos.com’s Article


Franz, F. (2020, October 16). Spice Extract May Induce Death of Mesothelioma Cells. Asbestos.com. Retrieved December 6, 2022, from https://www.asbestos.com/news/2011/05/20/spice-extract-may-induce-death-of-mesothelioma-cells/


Franz, Faith. "Spice Extract May Induce Death of Mesothelioma Cells." Asbestos.com, 16 Oct 2020, https://www.asbestos.com/news/2011/05/20/spice-extract-may-induce-death-of-mesothelioma-cells/.


Franz, Faith. "Spice Extract May Induce Death of Mesothelioma Cells." Asbestos.com. Last modified October 16, 2020. https://www.asbestos.com/news/2011/05/20/spice-extract-may-induce-death-of-mesothelioma-cells/.

Curcumin, a derivative of the spice turmeric, has come into the medical spotlight as a potential agent in treating mesothelioma. Recent in vitro and in vivo studies have investigated the turmeric-based compound’s ability to induce apoptosis, or programmed cell death. Curcumin has also been studied in conjunction with chemotherapy drugs to measure its affect on the impact of chemotherapeutic treatment.

Malignant mesothelioma, which develops in the linings of certain internal organs, frequently alters cell cycles and apoptosis pathways. This makes the cells very difficult to kill via chemotherapy or radiation therapy. As a result, strategies to make the cells more responsive to treatment are a major focus of research.

After observing biological and molecular responses by malignant cancer cells, researchers found that mesothelioma cells from laboratory mice and humans can be suppressed by exposure to the curcumin. Oral administration of curcumin was able to suppress cell growth in levels that were directly related to the dose of the compound.

Additionally, pretreatment with curcumin made cancer cells more responsive to cisplatin, a chemotherapeutic agent commonly used for the treatment of asbestos cancer. After apoptosis-inducing proteins are elevated by curcumin, cells are made more vulnerable to the effects of cisplatin.

The study was completed in 2011 by researchers at the Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit, Michigan. The facility has partnered with Wayne State University’s Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine to form the National Center for Vermiculite and Asbestos-Related Cancers.

The center is known for its involvement with groundbreaking clinical and laboratory research on mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. Part of the facility’s mission statement is to provide a means for the rapid and large-scale testing of affected individuals and increase the scientific understanding of the diseases. Patients may also seek treatment at the Karmanos Cancer Institute.

Medically Reviewed by Top Mesothelioma Doctors
Free Mesothelioma Guide