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      Curcumin induces chemo/radio-sensitization in ovarian cancer cells and curcumin nanoparticles inhibit ovarian cancer cell growth


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          Chemo/radio-resistance is a major obstacle in treating advanced ovarian cancer. The efficacy of current treatments may be improved by increasing the sensitivity of cancer cells to chemo/radiation therapies. Curcumin is a naturally occurring compound with anti-cancer activity in multiple cancers; however, its chemo/radio-sensitizing potential is not well studied in ovarian cancer. Herein, we demonstrate the effectiveness of a curcumin pre-treatment strategy for chemo/radio-sensitizing cisplatin resistant ovarian cancer cells. To improve the efficacy and specificity of curcumin induced chemo/radio sensitization, we developed a curcumin nanoparticle formulation conjugated with a monoclonal antibody specific for cancer cells.


          Cisplatin resistant A2780CP ovarian cancer cells were pre-treated with curcumin followed by exposure to cisplatin or radiation and the effect on cell growth was determined by MTS and colony formation assays. The effect of curcumin pre-treatment on the expression of apoptosis related proteins and β-catenin was determined by Western blotting or Flow Cytometry. A luciferase reporter assay was used to determine the effect of curcumin on β-catenin transcription activity. The poly(lactic acid- co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanoparticle formulation of curcumin (Nano-CUR) was developed by a modified nano-precipitation method and physico-chemical characterization was performed by transmission electron microscopy and dynamic light scattering methods.


          Curcumin pre-treatment considerably reduced the dose of cisplatin and radiation required to inhibit the growth of cisplatin resistant ovarian cancer cells. During the 6 hr pre-treatment, curcumin down regulated the expression of Bcl-X L and Mcl-1 pro-survival proteins. Curcumin pre-treatment followed by exposure to low doses of cisplatin increased apoptosis as indicated by annexin V staining and cleavage of caspase 9 and PARP. Additionally, curcumin pre-treatment lowered β-catenin expression and transcriptional activity. Nano-CUR was successfully generated and physico-chemical characterization of Nano-CUR indicated an average particle size of ~70 nm, steady and prolonged release of curcumin, antibody conjugation capability and effective inhibition of ovarian cancer cell growth.


          Curcumin pre-treatment enhances chemo/radio-sensitization in A2780CP ovarian cancer cells through multiple molecular mechanisms. Therefore, curcumin pre-treatment may effectively improve ovarian cancer therapeutics. A targeted PLGA nanoparticle formulation of curcumin is feasible and may improve the in vivo therapeutic efficacy of curcumin.

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          Nanoparticle-based targeted drug delivery.

          Nanotechnology could be defined as the technology that has allowed for the control, manipulation, study, and manufacture of structures and devices in the "nanometer" size range. These nano-sized objects, e.g., "nanoparticles", take on novel properties and functions that differ markedly from those seen from items made of identical materials. The small size, customized surface, improved solubility, and multi-functionality of nanoparticles will continue to open many doors and create new biomedical applications. Indeed, the novel properties of nanoparticles offer the ability to interact with complex cellular functions in new ways. This rapidly growing field requires cross-disciplinary research and provides opportunities to design and develop multifunctional devices that can target, diagnose, and treat devastating diseases such as cancer. This article presents an overview of nanotechnology for the biologist and discusses the attributes of our novel XPclad((c)) nanoparticle formulation that has shown efficacy in treating solid tumors, single dose vaccination, and oral delivery of therapeutic proteins.
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            Nanoparticle targeting of anticancer drug improves therapeutic response in animal model of human epithelial cancer.

            Prior studies suggested that nanoparticle drug delivery might improve the therapeutic response to anticancer drugs and allow the simultaneous monitoring of drug uptake by tumors. We employed modified PAMAM dendritic polymers <5 nm in diameter as carriers. Acetylated dendrimers were conjugated to folic acid as a targeting agent and then coupled to either methotrexate or tritium and either fluorescein or 6-carboxytetramethylrhodamine. These conjugates were injected i.v. into immunodeficient mice bearing human KB tumors that overexpress the folic acid receptor. In contrast to nontargeted polymer, folate-conjugated nanoparticles concentrated in the tumor and liver tissue over 4 days after administration. The tumor tissue localization of the folate-targeted polymer could be attenuated by prior i.v. injection of free folic acid. Confocal microscopy confirmed the internalization of the drug conjugates into the tumor cells. Targeting methotrexate increased its antitumor activity and markedly decreased its toxicity, allowing therapeutic responses not possible with a free drug.
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              Anticancer and carcinogenic properties of curcumin: considerations for its clinical development as a cancer chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic agent.

              A growing body of research suggests that curcumin, the major active constituent of the dietary spice turmeric, has potential for the prevention and therapy of cancer. Preclinical data have shown that curcumin can both inhibit the formation of tumors in animal models of carcinogenesis and act on a variety of molecular targets involved in cancer development. In vitro studies have demonstrated that curcumin is an efficient inducer of apoptosis and some degree of selectivity for cancer cells has been observed. Clinical trials have revealed that curcumin is well tolerated and may produce antitumor effects in people with precancerous lesions or who are at a high risk for developing cancer. This seems to indicate that curcumin is a pharmacologically safe agent that may be used in cancer chemoprevention and therapy. Both in vitro and in vivo studies have shown, however, that curcumin may produce toxic and carcinogenic effects under specific conditions. Curcumin may also alter the effectiveness of radiotherapy and chemotherapy. This review article analyzes the in vitro and in vivo cancer-related activities of curcumin and discusses that they are linked to its known antioxidant and pro-oxidant properties. Several considerations that may help develop curcumin as an anticancer agent are also discussed.

                Author and article information

                J Ovarian Res
                Journal of Ovarian Research
                BioMed Central
                29 April 2010
                : 3
                : 11
                [1 ]Cancer Biology Research Center, Sanford Research/University of South Dakota, Sioux Falls, SD 57105, USA
                [2 ]Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Sanford School of Medicine, University of South Dakota, Sioux Falls, SD 57105, USA
                Copyright ©2010 Yallapu et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


                Obstetrics & Gynecology
                Obstetrics & Gynecology


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