Curcumin from Turmeric Restores Immune System Function against Breast Cancer Cells
The immune system produces natural killer (NK) cells that circulate throughout the body. One of their functions is to target cells and get rid of malignant tumor cells. However, some tumors produce exosomes, vesicles that contain proteins that make the cells immune to NK attack. Lab research shows that curcumin from turmeric reverses this tumor defense mechanism in breast cancer cells. (vi.238)
Animal studies demonstrate that the turmeric compound can also help reduce levels of IL-6 cytokines in breast cancer that has metastasized. IL-6 proteins are over-expressed in these aggressive cancers and suppress the immune system. High levels of IL-6 are also associated with the symptoms of fatigue patients with breast cancer experience. Curcumin administered in a combination vaccine as a 3-course regimen (one preventive and 2 therapeutic) completely eliminated metastatic breast tumors in mice. (vi.240, 243)
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