Researchers from Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) and Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) have developed a novel process by which curcumin (turmeric) can be effectively used to kill cancer cells without harming normal ones.

Their research work has been published in the current issue of the scientific journal PLOS One .

A team of scientists led by Vijay Kumar Kutala, associate professor at the Dept. of Clinical Pharmacology in NIMS, and senior IICT scientist Srigiridhar Kotamraju said the clinical utility of turmeric was limited due to its inability to penetrate the cells. The scientists have, however, come up with an innovative technique to deliver turmeric to the cell mitochondria.

The scientists said, turmeric, which has been part of the Indian household for centuries, has curcumin, an active ingredient that has inherent medicinal properties. Curcumin’s efficiency in cancer prevention is well documented by several research studies, they maintained.

“This is a big breakthrough in the treatment of cancers, especially breast, prostate and cervical cancer. Our research in increasing the efficiency of herbal medicine through modern technology and delivery mechanism can immensely help fight cancer,” Dr. Kutala said.

A study authored

by city-based scientists has been published in PLOS One, a reputed scientific journal