Mr. and Mrs. Smith: Curcumin and EGCG

A MMA listserv friend, whose MGUS is stable on a daily intake of ( €”)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate, the green tea polyphenol known more familiarly as EGCG, as well as resveratrol, flaxseed oil capsules and curcumin, recently sent me a few interesting links. Until then, I hadn’t really taken EGCG into consideration. I stand corrected.

Even though curcumin and EGCG have nothing to do with paid assassins, I thought of the 2005 Mr. and Mrs. Smith movie as I was reading through these studies. The movie, for those who haven’t seen it, is about a seemingly ordinary married couple who turn out to be professional killers (unbeknownst to each other). When working separately, they are first-class killers, just like curcumin and EGCG, but when they join forces in the end they become invincible and exterminate all the bad guys (MM cells, in my little scenario). As my more scientifically-minded friend wrote me in a recent e-mail: “in the case of neoplastic B-cell lymphocyte differentiation into plasma cells, we are looking to curcumin and EGCG not for their anti-oxidant effects, but for their downregulation of NF-kB, which both achieve at different stages of the cell cycle, making them synergistic in this particular cellular scenario.” Perfect!

EGCG alone. The first link took me to a study, published in Clinical Cancer Research in 2005, which examined the killing effect of EGCG on MM cells in vitro, and concluded: ( €”)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate has potential as a novel therapeutic agent for patients with B-cell malignancies including multiple myeloma via induction of apoptosis mediated by modification of the redox system. In addition, ( €”)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate enhanced As2O3-induced apoptosis in human multiple myeloma cells. See: While doing more research on this topic, I came across an abstract co-authored by Kenneth Anderson and published in Blood in 2006. This group of researchers added EGCG to human MM cell lines, inducing apoptosis (programmed death). Healthy cells were spared. They also tested EGCG on mice with tumors grown from MM cells, and observed the same reaction. Conclusion: These data demonstrate potent and specific anti-myeloma activity of EGCG providing the rationale for its clinical evaluation.” You can read the abstract here:

EGCG and curcumin. In 1998, researchers from the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center published their findings concerning the effects of EGCG and curcumin on oral cancer. This was the first time the two compounds had been tested together in a cancer study. The researchers discovered that the two substances acted by different mechanisms, and concluded that EGCG and curcumin work synergistically, inhibiting tumor growth in vitro. The abstract and full text are available at:

I realize that all this information can be overwhelming. However, the important conclusion is that these findings, and my friend’s stable MGUS, suggest that EGCG would be a good addition to a MM patient’s intake. An invincible combination? Mr. And Mrs. Smith? Let’s hope so.

1 Comment

  1. Very interesting article.Very interesting.I have been drinking green
    tea for over a year,ever since I gave up dairy products.It is
    Here is another delicious beverage which I drink every day:

    One rounded tsp of Marigold vegetable bouillon
    One rounded tsp of turmeric
    freshly ground pepper to taste.
    Add hot water and stir.
    It’s not curcumin, but I think it is doing me good.

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