Clinical trials hope to find spice link to curing bowel cancer
When Leicester Royal Infirmary was looking for a company to supply materials for its ground-breaking clinical trial into the treatment of advanced bowel cancer, it turned to local pharmaceutical manufacturer Nova Laboratories.
According to research carried out at the University of Leicester, curcumin – an extract of the root turmeric – has the ability to kill cancer cells resistant to chemotherapy. In the first clinical trial of its kind at Leicester Royal Infirmary, they are preparing to test the spice on about a dozen patients, focusing on patients aged between 65 and 75 whose bowel cancer has spread to the liver.
However, the work could have much wider implications in the treatment of other cancers, according to Dr Lynne Howells, a senior research fellow at the university who is leading the study.
The research has been funded by £75,000 from Leicester charity Hope Against Cancer and the first patients are expected to be recruited by the autumn. The first trial is likely to last between three and six months.
Nova, which is principally known as a manufacturer of ‘Specials’ and for its innovative aseptic processing technologies, also has the ability to manufacture materials of trials such as that conducted by the Leicester Royal Infirmary and has been supplying a number of the UK's hospital trials for many years. Capsules containing doses of curcumin ranging from 0.5 – 2g have been formulated.