University Leicester Logo Turmeric a part of the ginger family is known for its medicinal purpose since centuries. This curry cooking ingredient now seems to be beneficial for patients with colorectal (bowel) cancer. Experts from the University of Leicester have apparently used a turmeric extract to target cancer cells. Researchers claim to be using actual tissue from tumors of patients undergoing surgery.

Tissue from colorectal tumors was used so that scientists can accurately note the effects of targeting chemo-resistant cells by curcumin. It is known that curcumin is an extract of the commonly used root turmeric. Even after completion of cancer treatment sometimes remaining cells help the disease to reoccur. Experts assume that such cells do not have properties similar to the bulk of cells within a tumor. Therefore these probably attain resistance to chemotherapy.

Curcumin, from turmeric boosts the efficiency of chemotherapy and also decreases the number of chemo-resistant cells. This was claimed by Dr Karen Brown, a Reader at the University, the principal investigator of the research. Scientists aim to further carry on the research for analyzing mechanisms through which curcumin targets resistant cells in tumors. Investigations may even assist in distinguishing people most likely to benefit from curcumin treatment.

The research was funded by Hope Against Cancer.