Ovarian cancer- Curcumin as Synergistic, Integrative Therapy

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For ovarian cancer, treatment with curcumin alone and combined with docetaxel resulted in significant 47% and 58% reductions in tumor growth, respectively

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If you have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, regardless of stage, you may benefit from supplementing with curcumin. I have taken curcumin daily since 2006 and I have remained in complete remission from my cancer, multiple myeloma.

Curcumin supplementation has shown anti-cancer action in breast, prostate, pancreatic, multiple myeloma and other cancers. The studies below cite the ability of curcumin to both kill both ovarian and cervical cancer cells while enhancing the efficacy of certain chemotherapies.

 Life Extension Super Bio-curcumin, 400mg, Vegetarian Capsules, 60-CountI am both a cancer survivor and cancer coach. I supplement with Life Extension Super Bio-curcumin, 400mg. This form of curcumin is more bioavailable and has been evaluated and approved by consumerlab.com.

To learn more about non-toxic anti-cancer supplementation like curcumin, green tea, resveritrol and others, scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply ASAP.


Thank you,

David Emerson

  • Cancer Survivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Curcumin inhibits tumor growth and angiogenesis in ovarian carcinoma by targeting the nuclear factor-kappaB pathway.

“RESULTS: Curcumin inhibited inducible NF-kappaB activation and suppressed proliferation in vitro. In vivo dose-finding experiments revealed that 500 mg/kg orally was the optimal dose needed to suppress NF-kappaB and signal transducers and activators of transcription 3 activation and decrease angiogenic cytokine expression.

In the SKOV3ip1 and HeyA8 in vivo models, curcumin alone resulted in 49% reductions in mean tumor growth compared with controls, whereas when combined with docetaxel elicited 96% and 77% reductions in mean tumor growth compared with controls. In mice with multidrug-resistant HeyA8-MDR tumors, treatment with curcumin alone and combined with docetaxel resulted in significant 47% and 58% reductions in tumor growth, respectively. In SKOV3ip1 and HeyA8 tumors, curcumin alone and with docetaxel decreased both proliferation (P < 0.001) and microvessel density (P < 0.001) and increased tumor cell apoptosis (P < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: Based on significant efficacy in preclinical models, curcumin-based therapies may be attractive in patients with ovarian carcinoma….”

Antitumor action of curcumin in human papillomavirus associated cells involves downregulation of viral oncogenes, prevention of NFkB and AP-1 translocation, and modulation of apoptosis

“Infection with high-risk human papillomaviruses (HPV) leads to development of cervical carcinoma, predominantly through the action of viral oncoproteins E6 and E7. The present study aims at analyzing the antitumor and antiviral properties of curcumin, on HPV associated cervical cancer cells.

Our findings indicate curcumin to be cytotoxic to cervical cancer cells in a concentration-dependent and time-dependent manner. The cytotoxic activity was selectively more in HPV16 and HPV18 infected cells compared to non-HPV infected cells…These results provide attractive data for the possible use of curcumin in the management of HPV associated tumors”

Cancer prehabilitation is emerging as a method of better preparing patients for the often toxic and disabling effects of cancer treatment. Its place within the continuum of cancer care is rapidly being established.

If you were about to go on a ski trip but you hadn’t been on the slopes for a few years you might head to the gym to get your legs in shape. I have lots of friends who try to lose a few pounds before summer in an effort to look better when they put on a swimsuit. Both of these examples are prehabilitation.

Granted, a cancer diagnosis is much more serious than a ski trip or the beach but the idea is the same.

Cancer Prehabilitation is one or more therapies that each of us understands intuitively. Performing a certain exercise to prepare for surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation to improve the healing or the recovery time just makes sense. Learning about your cancer diagnosis in order to prepare emotionally and reduce anxiety and stress also makes sense.

For information about you or a loved one can pre-habilitate for his/her induction initial cancer therapy whether it’s surgery, chemotherapy or radiation, scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply ASAP. 

thank you,

David Emerson

  • Long-term cancer survivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Recommended Reading:

Prehab Offers Faster Track to Recovery From Ca Treatment

Early data suggest that this “bundled” approach is effective. In a study published last October, colorectal cancer patients who took part in a prehab program that included regular aerobic exercise and strength training, a personalized nutrition program and protein supplementation, and guided relaxation, performed better on the six-minute walk test both before and after surgery than patients who received only standard postsurgical rehabilitation (Anesthesiology 2014;121[5]:937-947, PMID: 25076007)

Cancer Prehabilitation Improves Outcomes

“Prehabilitation is one or more interventions performed in a newly diagnosed cancer patient that are designed to improve physical and mental health outcomes as the patient undergoes treatment and beyond. Cancer prehabilitation uses a multidisciplinary approach combining exercise, nutritional, and psychological strategies to prepare patients for the challenges of cancer treatment, such as surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and radiation therapy…

In addition to improved physical and psychological health outcomes for oncology patients, cancer prehabilitation can reduce morbidity, increase treatment options, prevent hospital readmissions, and lower both direct and indirect healthcare costs attributed to cancer treatment...

Family conflicts, other non-physical worries before cancer surgery raise patients’ complication risk

“Meeting non-medical needs and improving quality of life ahead of operations can aid recovery and cut health care costs, a new study suggests. Quality of life as measured in the study is about more than happiness and how well people feel physically, a researcher says. It also includes the financial, spiritual, emotional, mental and social aspects of their lives and whether their needs are being met.”

10 Ways to Prepare for Surgery

  1. Be your best.
  2. Familiarize yourself with the surgery.
  3. Speak up.
  4. Learn about anesthesia.
  5. Ask about your diet.
  6. Know what to expect after surgery.
  7. Practice relaxation techniques.
  8. Plan for medications.
  9. Prepare your home.
  10. Pack a bag.

Effects of a combination of whey protein intake and rehabilitation on muscle strength and daily movements in patients with hip fracture in the early postoperative period

Elderly patients can be at risk of protein catabolism and malnutrition in the early postoperative period. Whey protein includes most essential amino acids and stimulates the synthesis of muscle protein. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of resistance training in combination with whey protein intake in the early postoperative period…”

Understanding Prehabilitation, with Arash Asher, MD, and An Ngo-Huang, DO

“After cancer treatment, our rehabilitation program can help a person regain strength, physical functioning, and independence. However, there has recently been a new interest in prehabilitation, which is a personalized program of nutrition, exercise, and emotional support to help a person diagnosed with cancer prepare for treatment, such as surgery or radiation therapy…”

Dietary supplements – Tumeric (Curcumin)

I was diagnosed wth Stage 1 c ovarian cancer ,completed 6 rounds of chemo (paxil/carbo) and have been strongly urged to take tumeric (drops or pills) – is anyone taking this? If so, how long after hemo did you begin and what dosage? All answers responses appreciated!

20 replies

You can start 2 or 3 weeks after your last chemo. I took tumeric, eventually I recurred, but maybe it kept me in remission longer. Anyway, for dosage always consult with a naturopath who will also recommend other supplements. Research everything, read and select which supplements you want to target. Remember you can always use tumeric in food too but there is no way you can possibly take enough in and that is why you need capsules.

I was told that for tumeric/circumin to be effective, it needs to be taken with pepper. Just a sprinkling on your food is fine. I don’t know if it helps or not. Maybe for some, not for others. There is certainly no “magic bullet.”

According to Prof Aggarwal at MD Anderson, who is researching curcumin, the dosage should be 8gms dai
ly, in three or four doses. I have been taking Doctor’s Best igm tablets with bioperine (pepper) for a couple of years. Who encouraged you to take it?

Good luck!

Hi Chrystynh: That seems like a mighty strong dosage, although I have a friend who cured HIMSELF completely from prostate cancer and takes a tremendous amount. He and my acupuncturist recommended it highly – I am presently “researching’ possible benefits and contraindications.

There is now an even more effective form of curcumin: BCM-95®



This form is available in different brands.

You will struggle to find any contraindications, apart from blood thinning if that is potentially a problem for you. I think BCM 95 is your best bet, and 8 grams a day is the kind of dose to aim for definitely.

Importantly, Curcumin will potentiate chemo, so should be taken concurrently – before, during and after.

I’ve read that if you’re taking blood thinners (such as Coumadin, Lovenox) that you shouldn’t take Curcumin (turmeric) at the same time…..

I was dx stage 1 grade 3 ovarian. Am not doing chemo. My anthroposophical MD put me on curcumin right away after my diagnosis. She has me on curcumin plus by True Botanica. It is a synergistic proprietary blend. I take 3-4 capsules daily per her recommendation. I believe it is part of my CA125 of 9. (along with my beloved Iscador, IP-6, glutathione, artemesian etc).
I have a friend with brain cancer. He has been in remission for 3 years now. He just puts turmeric over all his food, every meal, and swears by it.
All the best!

From what I understand, turmeric is a great spice. It not only makes food taste great but it’s a good anti-inflammatory. That said, I don’t really think it would be that effective unless it’s part of a overall anti-inflammatory diet. There are a lot of books out there about this type of diet. One that I liked was written by Barry Sears, the doctor who developed the zone diet. It also has some recipes that I thought were delicious.

Thyme – you might change your mind about Curcumin’s effectiveness if you checked the research.

I take curcumin and have been taking it for two years three times a day.
I take a lot more supplements along with curcumin as well as super low sugar, no red meats, a little organic chicken and lots of organic veggies and fruits. No artificial anything.
I just celebrated two years NED!

You may want to change your shared with public to shared with members.
This way more people will respond :•)

I will definitely look it up.. thx.

Hi All,
I am actually from the Brain Cancer board, but ran across your discussion about curcumin. My son was dx’d with a Grade 3 tumor in his brain last year. Almost immediately, he began taking curcumin with the permission of his oncologist, who helped set his dosage. While there is no doubt at all that the medical community has done some exceptional work on him, and there is no doubt that all the prayers for him have helped, we are strongly convinced by our personal experiences with curcumin (I started taking it too when I was dx with nodules on my right lung), that curcumin is an important supplement to take.

There is much research going on now about curcumin that demonstrates positive reactions, some of which involve the actual weakening of cancer cells. Curcumin has been demonstrated in several studies of inducing apoptosis (cancer cells death) and if it doesn’t outright kill it, it weakens the cancer so that the chemo will. As some have mentioned, it is an outstanding anti-inflammatory. For anyone battling a stupid urinary tract infection, taking some curcumin with whatever the doctor prescribes has hastened the reduction of that familiar, gotta-go irritation/pain.

All those positives aside, I need to mention a couple of contraindications: 1) as mentioned, it does thin the blood. If you are preparing for surgery, you’ll need to stop the curcumin about 2 weeks prior, 2) there are certain chemos -typically used in the treatment of breast cancer – that curcumin degrades the effectiveness of. No one under medical care should take curcumin without first checking with your doctor 3) use of curcumin can disqualify you for clinical trials. It makes sense that a company testing a drug wants to be able to prove the effectiveness of its drug and if you are taking or have taken curcumin, the success could be attributed to the curcumin and not the drug under test. (That curcumin is a disqualifier in some trials just goes to show you how effective some drug companies think curcumin is.) 4) if you have a tendency for kidney stones, you should not take curcumin because curcumin might encourage the production of more stones.

For dosage, that is generally fixed by body weight. A normal, conservative dosage for an adult woman weighing 130-145 pounds would be about 2 grams a day. Under no circumstances should anyone take more than 5 grams, unless of course, the doctor says its ok.

Concerning bioavailability and taking the curcumin with pepper, etc. Yes, that is true if you are trying to cross the blood brain barrier with the curcumin. If you are not taking curcumin for brain related matters, doing something to enhance bioavailability is probably unnecessary, but again, be guided by your doctor’s/clinical nutritionist’s directions. Curcumin appears to be more effective regardless of the reason one would take it, if it is taken with a small amount (1 tablespoon) of flaxseed oil, or a single capsule (normal daily dosage) of Vitamin E or D oil, or even olive oil.

I agree with LilacLinda. In my experience, a number of people find a positive correlation between the time they are NEC (no evidence of cancer) and the length of time they have taken curcumin. I know of a woman who has taken curcumin for over 5 years and is NEC for brain cancer for over 5 years. My son has taken curcumin for nearly a year and is NEC for brain cancer for nearly a year.

Hope this message helps. Never ever give in or give up!
All the best,

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