Journal of
Medicinal Plants Research

  • Abbreviation: J. Med. Plants Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0875
  • DOI: 10.5897/JMPR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 3828

Full Length Research Paper

Possible therapeutic mechanisms of turmeric against colorectal cancer induced by N-methylnitrosourea in experimental models

Amal H. Hamza1,4*, Wagdy K. B. Khalil2 and Hanaa H. Ahmad3  
1Biochemistry Department, Faculty of Science for Girls, King Abdulaziz University,Jeddah, KSA. 2Cell Biology Department, National Research Center, Dokki, Egypt. 3Hormones Department, National Research Center, Dokki, Egypt. 4Biochemistry and Nutrition Department, Faculty of Women, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt.  
Email: [email protected] or [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 13 May 2013
  •  Published: 10 July 2013


The goal of this study was to investigate some possible therapeutic mechanisms of turmeric in the treatment of colorectal cancer induced by N-methylnitrosourea. The experimental animals were divided into five groups, healthy control group, colon cancer induced group, fluorouracil (FU) treated group; the two other groups set as colon cancer induced group treated with low and high dose of successive methanolic fraction of turmeric,respectively. Biochemical results revealed significant elevation of plasma transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β), serum carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) levels, matrix metalloproteinase-7 (MMP-7) activity and colon cancer specific antigen-4 (CCSA-4) level in cancer group as compared to control group. Treatment of cancer induced rats withfluorouracil or tumeric fractions showed significant decrease in plasma TGF-β, serum CEA levels, MMP-7 activity and CCSA-4 as compared to cancer induced group. Also, the results showed significant higher expression level of β-catenin, K-ras and c-myc genes in colon cancer-induced rats as compared to control group. However, β-catenin, K-ras and c-mycgenes were down-regulated in the colon tissues of control rats and rats treated withfluorouracil and/or the tumeric extracts. Moreover, immunohistochemical results revealed significant elevation in cell count of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), Cyc-D1 and survivin in cancer group as compared to healthy control group. Treatment of cancer induced rats withfluorouracil and/or turmeric fractions showed significant decrease in immunohistochemical cell count of COX-2, Cyc-D1 and survivin as compared to cancer group. These results represented good therapeutic approaches of turmeric for intervention against progressive colon cancer with special reference to the inflammation, proliferation and apoptosis.


Key words: Colon cancer, turmeric fractions, therapeutic mechanisms, in vivo study.