Topical curcumin gel effective in treating burns and scalds

What is the effect of topical curcumin gel for treating burns and scalds? In a recent research paper, published in the open access journal BioDiscovery, Dr. Madalene Heng, Clinical Professor of Dermatology at the David Geffen School of Medicine, stresses that use of topical curcumin gel for treating skin problems, like burns and scalds, is very different, and appears to work more effectively, when compared to taking curcumin tablets by mouth for other conditions.

“Curcumin gel appears to work much better when used on the skin because the gel preparation allows curcumin to penetrate the skin, inhibit phosphorylase kinase and reduce inflammation,” explains Dr Heng.

In this report, use of curcumin after burns and scalds were found to reduce the severity of the injury, lessen pain and inflammation, and improve healing with less than expected scarring, or even no scarring, of the affected skin. Dr. Heng reports her experience using curcumin gel on such injuries using three examples of patients treated after burns and scalds, and provides a detailed explanation why topical curcumin may work on such injuries.

Curcumin is an ingredient found in the common spice turmeric. Turmeric has been used as a spice for centuries in many Eastern countries and gives well known dishes, such as curry, their typical yellow-gold color. The spice has also been used for cosmetic and medical purposes for just as long in these countries.

In recent years, the medicinal value of curcumin has been the subject of intense scientific studies, with publication numbering in the thousands, looking into the possible beneficial effects of this natural product on many kinds of affliction in humans.

This study published reports that topical curcumin gel applied soon after mild to moderate burns and scalds appears to be remarkably effective in relieving symptoms and improved healing of the affected skin.

“When taken by mouth, curcumin is very poorly absorbed into the body, and may not work as well,” notes Dr. Heng. “Nonetheless, our tests have shown that when the substance is used in a topical gel, the effect is notable.”

The author of the study believes that the effectiveness of curcumin gel on the skin – or topical curcumin – is related to its potent anti-inflammatory activity. Based on studies that she has done both in the laboratory and in patients over 25 years, the key to curcumin’s effectiveness on burns and scalds is that it is a natural inhibitor of an enzyme called phosphorylase kinase.

This enzyme in humans has many important functions, including its involvement in wound healing. Wound healing is the vital process that enables healing of tissues after injury. The process goes through a sequence of acute and chronic inflammatory events, during which there is redness, swelling, pain and then healing, often with scarring in the case of burns and scalds of the skin. The sequence is started by the release of phosphorylase kinase about 5 mins after injury, which activates over 200 genes that are involved in wound healing.

Dr. Heng uses curcumin gel for burns, scalds and other skin conditions as complementary treatment, in addition to standard treatment usually recommended for such conditions.


Original Source:

Heng M (2017) Phosphorylase Kinase Inhibition Therapy in Burns and Scalds. BioDiscovery 20: e11207.

Drug resistance of cancer cells crucially affected by expression levels of ABC-transporters

How is drug resistance of cancer cells affected by ABC-transporters? A new research paper, published in the open access journal BioDiscovery, looks at the complex relationship between the second generation of tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) – Dasatinib (DAS), and the expression of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters, ABCB1 and ABCG2, to assess whether these drug transporters might compromise therapeutic effect.

Cancer enabled “targeted” treatment is an effective method with a minimal damage for healthy cells. Targeted therapy brought about a revolution in cancer treatment in the last decades by utilising rationally designed drugs that interfere with specific molecules (molecular targets) essential for proliferation and survival of malignant cells.

While DAS represents excellent choice for the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia resistant to imatinib, recent laboratory studies suggested that antiproliferative effect of DAS might be significantly reduced when overexpression of the ATP-binding ABC transporters, ABCB1 and ABCG2 comes into the equation.

“Despite the importance of this relationship, it was still unclear whether these drug transporters might compromise therapeutic effect of DAS in clinic,” explains Dr. Petr Mlejnek, Palacky University Olomouc, Czech Republic. “Believing that the drug transporter expression level is a crucial factor that affects the results and thus may help to explain the existing controversy we decided to study relationship between expression levels of ABCB1 and ABCG2 and cell resistance to DAS in vitro.”

In their study Dr. Petr Mlejnek and his team from the Palacky University Olomouc, Czech Republic observed that the expression level of the studied ABC-transporter is an important factor that affects the cell resistance. While the antiproliferative and pro-apoptotic effects of DAS might be reduced by ABCB1 or ABCG2 overexpression at clinically relevant concentration, the actual effect of the studied ABC transporters on DAS efficiency depends on their expression levels. The lower expression levels of ABC transporters mediate lower resistance. Considering the fact that expression levels of ABCB1 and ABCG2 transporters are hardly high in clinical samples, their contribution to the overall resistance to DAS is probably low but significant.


Additional Information:

This research is published in the open access journal BioDiscovery, as part of the special collection “From Drug Discovery to Clinical Trials” dedicated to outputs from the Second Clinical Sciences and Drug Discovery Conference, which took place in July, in Dundee, Scotland.

The aim of BioDiscovery is to provide a platform for scientists in all areas of biology and medicine to promote, share and discuss new ideas and developments. BioDiscovery considers for publication original, high quality research which contributes significantly for the development of the knowledge in biology and medicine. Articles submitted to BioDiscovery benefit from its broad scope and readership, and dedicated media promotion.

Follow BioDiscovery on Twitter @BioDiscoveryJrn

Original Source:

Mlejnek P, Dolezel P, Ruzickova E (2017) Drug resistance of cancer cells is crucially affected by expression levels of ABC-transporters. BioDiscovery 20: e11211.