Posted on Jun 21, 2019, 4 p.m.
Research from Washington State University has developed a drug delivery system incorporating curcumin that has successfully inhibited bone cancer cells while promoting growth of healthy new bone cells.
This technology is hoped to lead to development of better treatments for those with osteosarcoma, which is the second most prevalent cause of cancer death in children, as published in the journal ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces.
Bone cancer patients are often treated with high doses of chemotherapy which can have harmful side effects before and after surgery. As such around the globe scientists are working to find gentler options for treatment, including studying the benefits of integrating other natural compounds in biomedical technology, especially for use after surgery when patients are trying to recover from bone damage while taking harsh drugs to suppress tumour growth.
Curcumin/turmeric has been used as a medicine for centuries, and it has been shown to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, to have bone building capabilities, and to help prevent various forms of cancer.
"I want people to know the beneficial effects of these natural compounds. Natural biomolecules derived from these plant-based products are inexpensive and a safer alternative to synthetic drugs." says Susmita Bose.
To overcome the obstacle of when taken orally as a medicine curcumin is not absorbed very well leading it to become metabolized and eliminated too quickly 3D printing technology was used.
Support scaffolds were built out of calcium phospate cucrmin that were incorporated encapsulated in a vesicle of fat molecules into the scaffolds using 3D printing technology, which allowed for the gradual release of the compound. This delivery system was found to inhibit growth of osteosarcoma cells by 96% after 11 days, and to promote healthy bone cell growth.
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