A Study of the Efficacy of Curcumin Based Drugs for the Treatment of Glioblastoma
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Glioblastoma is the most aggressive and common form of brain cancer in adults. Those diagnosed often only have a few months to live. However, recent studies have uncovered a promising, new option for treatment: curcumin. Curcumin is the yellow compound that gives turmeric its color. For hundreds of years, curcumin has been a staple of traditional medicine in Asia. Furthermore, numerous studies have explored its many medicinal properties, including anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant capabilities. Curcumin has also shown to induce Gi/S and G2/M cell cycle arrest, induce apoptosis in cancerous cells, and even enhance the efficacy of preexisting chemotherapeutic treatments. Unfortunately pure curcumin is mostly insoluble in water, thus making it ineffective for treatment. The purpose this study was to test the efficacy of Curcumin-CD and Curcumin- CD-F127, two synthesized drugs that were designed to make curcumin water soluble. Using an MTT Assay (a colorimetric assay for measuring metabolic activity or in this study, cell survival), Curcumin-CD and Curcumin-CD-F127 were tested on two human cell lines, U-251 and NS-1. U-251 cells contain mutant p53, a protein that regulates the cell cycle and as such acts as a tumor suppressor. NS-1 cells contain GFP (green fluorescent protein), making them easily visible when studied in animal models. The cells were exposed to three different concentrations for both drugs: 10 mg/ml, 5 mg/ml, and 2.5 mg/ml. After completing the study, it was found that the drugs were effective against glioblastoma, but only at the higher concentrations.