Could Turmeric Compounds Help Stop Soft Tissue Sarcomas?

Could Turmeric Compounds Help Stop Soft Tissue Sarcomas?

Most cancers begin in epithelial tissue cells in the body. These are carcinomas. Those that begin in bone, cartilage, fibrous tissues, and muscles represent about 2% of cancers, and are called sarcomas. (vi.426)

Studies suggest that turmeric compounds may be able to help treat various sarcomas: (vi.240)

Table VI.47: Sarcoma Types that Turmeric Compounds May Help
Soft / Connective Tissue Sarcomas Bone Sarcomas

Chondrosarcoma (vi.240)

Leiomyosarcoma (vi.134)

Liposarcoma (vi.134427)

Lymphosarcoma (vi.102)

Reticulum cell sarcoma (vi.428)

Rhabdomyosarcoma (vi.429)

Ewing's sarcoma (vi.429)

Fibrosarcoma (vi.240)

Osteosarcoma (vi.429)

What Causes Sarcoma?

Environmental factors are linked to many of these sarcomas. These include exposure to toxic chemicals (e.g., dioxin and pesticides) and radiation. Some are also linked to viruses, such as Kaposi's sarcoma, which affects the skin. (vi.318430)

Genetics may also play a role in increasing susceptibility. Li-Fraumeni syndrome is an inherited condition linked to higher risk of cancer at an early age, including soft tissue sarcoma. Rarely, uterine fibroids can transform into uterine leiomyosarcomas. (vi.431-432)

How Can Turmeric Help?

Turmeric and its compounds have anti-inflammatory and antitumor properties that research suggests can help block the growth or spread of various types of sarcomas. Clinical and animal studies indicate that using turmeric or its compounds along with conventional sarcoma therapy can also be beneficial. There are even clinical studies recruiting to study the effects of turmeric's curcumin compounds combined with herbal ashwagandha extract to treat osteosarcoma. (vi.426-427433)

How Do Turmeric Compounds Work on Sarcomas?

Preclinical lab and animal research show turmeric compounds have the following effects:

Table VI.48: Turmeric's Phytochemical and Nutrient Effects in Sarcomas
Turmeric Compound Effects

Alpha-linolenic acid (vi.71)

(a polyunsaturated fatty acid)

Osteosarcoma cell growth(vi.434)

Ar-turmerone (vi.74)

Sarcoma growth in an animal model. (vi.435)

Beta-sitosterol (vi.71)

Fibrosarcoma cell death(vi.436)

Curcumin and Curcumin Analogs or Metabolites (vi.71364)

Apoptosis or cell-cycle arrest in osteosarcoma, Ewing's sarcoma, and rhabdomyosarcoma, including in chemoresistant cancer cells. (vi.429)

Autophagy in uterine leiomyosarcoma cells. (vi.437)

Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and cell death in liposarcoma cells. (vi.427)

Proteins that promote apoptosis in sarcoma cancer cells. (vi.429)

Tumor suppressors and receptors that trigger apoptosis in chondrosarcoma cells. (vi.438)

Transcription factors that stimulate pro-apoptosis enzymes in liposarcoma. (vi.427)

Enzymes that induce liposarcoma cell death(vi.134427)

Effectiveness of radiation therapy in killing fibrosarcoma cells. (vi.240)

Quality of life in patients with solid tumors undergoing chemotherapy treatment. (vi.439)

Chondrosarcoma tumor volume by 60%. (vi.438)

Growth of leiomyosarcoma tumor cells. (vi.134)

Transcription factors and oncogenes that promote osteosarcoma and/or fibrosarcoma tumors. (vi.2240364440)

Proteins and enzymes that help sarcoma cancer cells survive, proliferate, and spread(vi.2134240429439-440)

Enzymes that help fibrosarcoma and chondrosarcoma cells metastasize and spread to other areas of the body. (vi.101240)

Kinase enzymes that promote rhabdomyosarcoma and Ewing's sarcoma growth. (vi.2429)

Factors that promote angiogenesis and fibrosarcoma growth (by synthetic curcumin analogs). (vi.240)

Inflammatory growth factors in patients with solid tumors. (vi.439)

Curcumin also increases the effectiveness of resveratrol in blocking sarcoma growth. (vi.429)

Curdione (vi.74)

Lymphosarcoma. (vi.102)

Eugenol (vi.74)

Apoptosis in osteosarcoma cells. (vi.441)

Furanodiene (vi.415)

Uterine sarcoma tumors. (vi.415)

Fisetin (vi.79)

Sensitivity of chemoresistant uterine sarcoma cells to doxorubicin chemotherapy. (vi.442)

Linoleic acid (vi.163)

(an omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid)

Osteosarcoma cell growth(vi.434)

Quercetin (vi.79)

Growth of gliosarcoma cells. (vi.131)

Enzyme activity that stimulates the transformation of healthy cells to sarcoma cancer cells. (vi.131)

Resveratrol (vi.83)

Tumor suppressors that inhibit sarcoma growth. (vi.429)

Apoptosis or cell-cycle arrest in osteosarcoma and rhabdomyosarcoma. (vi.429)

Transcription factors and adhesion molecules that promote metastasis of fibrosarcoma tumors. (vi.364)

Resveratrol also increases the effectiveness of curcumin in blocking sarcoma growth. (vi.429)

Turmeric Extract

Antioxidant protection during chemotherapy treatment. (vi.433)

Damaging side effects to heart from doxorubicin, a standard chemotherapy drug for sarcoma that is highly toxic to the heart. (vi.427433)

Xanthorrhizol (vi.123)

Sarcoma growth in an animal model. (vi.435)

Vitamin C (vi.71)

A case report documented complete, long-term regression of reticulum cell sarcoma with high-dose vitamin C therapy. (vi.428)

Figure VI.31 - Help Stop Soft Tissue Sarcomas

Figure VI.31: How Turmeric Compounds Stop Sarcoma Tumors (vi.2101131134240364429434-442)

Clinical Evidence of Benefit

Clinical Trial
Table VI.49: Solid Tumor Clinical Study Results
Study Type Treatment & Study Length

Double-Blinded, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial

80 patients with solid tumors. (vi.439)

Bioavailability-boosted curcumin supplement, 180 mg/day for 8 weeks in conjunction with standard chemotherapy. (vi.439)


The curcumin-treated group of patients experienced significant improvement in quality of life compared to those taking placebo. The turmeric compound also suppressed systemic inflammation(vi.439)

Withania somnifera(vi.303)
Development of new tumor-feeding blood vessels. (vi.89)
A difficult-to-treat sarcoma of the connective joint tissue. (vi.438)
The most common soft tissue sarcoma. (vi.427)
Specifically, Bax. (vi.429)
Such as p53, Fas, FasL, and DR-5. (vi.438)
Specifically, CHOP. (vi.427)
Caspases -3 and -8. (vi.134427)
Such as β-catenin and NF-κB. (vi.2240364)
Specifically, c-myc. (vi.440)
Specifically, cytokines TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-11, as well as cyclin D1, Bcl-2, survivin, and WNT proteins. (vi.2240429439-440)
Such as mTOR kinases in leiomyosarcoma tumor cells. (vi.134)
MMP-2, -9, and -13 metalloproteases, as well as MT1-MMP and TIMP-2. (vi.101240)
Specifically, mTOR kinases. (vi.2429)
Specifically, transcription factor AP-1 and VEGF. (vi.240)
Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β). (vi.439)
Activation of protein tyrosine kinases (PTKs). (vi.131)
Such as p53. (vi.429)
Specifically, NF-κB. (vi.364)
Such as ICAM-1. (vi.364)

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