1427P - Curcuma longa extract is effective in improving inflammatory status and redox balance in patients with cancer-related cachexia and oxidative stress

Date 01 October 2012
Event ESMO Congress 2012
Session Poster presentation III
Topics Palliative Care
Presenter Giovanni Mantovani
Authors G. Mantovani1, C. Madeddu2, F. Panzone2, M.C. Cau2, G. Antoni2, F. Leo2, A. Maccio'2, R. Serpe3
  • 1University of Cagliari, 09042 - Cagliari/IT
  • 2Department Of Medical Oncology, University of Cagliari, 09042 - Cagliari/IT
  • 3Parco Scientifico E Tecnologico Della Sardegna, Nutrisearch srl, Cagliari/IT



Curcumin (diferuloylmethane) is the biologically active compound of Turmeric (Curcuma Longa) and has long been used in traditional Asian medicine to treat diseases ranging from heartburn to arthritis: it is thought to have antioxidant and antinflammatory properties.


To assess the antioxidant and antinflammatory properties of a curcumin extract in advanced cachectic cancer patients.


From September 2011 to March 2012, 15 cachectic patients (M 7/F 8; age range 55–85 y) with cancer at different sites were enrolled, all stage IV. Twenty-one age/sex matched healthy controls were studied. All enrolled patients had inflammation and oxidative stress (high blood levels of proinflammatory cytokine Interleukin-6 (IL-6), high levels of blood C-reactive protein (CRP), high levels of ROS, low levels of blood antioxidant enzymes GPx and SOD and low levels of total blood antioxidant status, TAS, compared to controls. Patients were administered 4 tablets (2 g/day, equivalent to 400 mg/day of active curcuminoids extract, Meriva, Indena, Milan, Italy). Treatment duration was 4 weeks.


A significant reduction of ROS levels ( 510 ± 120 vs 390 ± 186 Fort U) and a significant improvement of circulating levels of GPx (5630 ± 1189 vs 6590 ± 2390 U/l) as well as a significant improvement of TAS (0.61 ± 0.23 vs 0.69 ± 0.4 mmol Trolox eq.) was observed after treatment. The inflammatory marker CRP decreased significantly (38.12 ± 28.4 vs 20.24 ± 17.37 mg/dl), no significant decrease of serum IL-6 (25.58 ± 23.67 vs. 19.9 ± 16.8) was observed. No patient was withdrawn from the study and the treatment was safe and well tolerated.


Curcumin extract added to the normal diet was able to significantly improve inflammatory status and counteract key parameters of oxidative stress, such as ROS, GPx and TAS. Curcumin antinflammatory-antioxidant activity could be useful in a multi-targeted combined pharmaco-nutritional approach to treat cancer-cachexia. Dr. Roberto Serpe was supported by grant CRP1_296 from the Regione Autonoma della Sardegna by PO Sardegna FSE 2007-2013 (L.R.7/2007) titled”Promotion of scientific and technological research in Sardinia”, Italy


All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.