Signaling Protein For Multiple Myeloma Identified

This is the title of a Science Daily article ( posted by a MM listserv member yesterday. In a nutshell, it appears that Emory University researchers have discovered a new target in the treatment of multiple myeloma called Ribosomal S6 kinase 2 (RSK2). A quick look through the article took me to a key sentence: The researchers observed that elimination of RSK2 proteins or shutting down RSK2 activity blocks FGFR3 transformation signaling in myeloma cells. This means FGFR3 requires RSK2 to transform normal cells. So, eliminate or inhibit the activity of this protein, and normal cells don’t turn malignant. Is that significant or WHAT? (FGFR3 simply means “fibroblast growth factor receptor 3,” in case you were wondering). Of course, I immediately did a search to see if there were any studies on curcumin and RSK2, but got side-tracked when I found that aspirin and salicylic acid inhibit this protein (see: I started with RSK2, then one thing led to another until I came to an unexpected conclusion. It was like reading a good mystery novel with a Deaver-like twist in the end. But first things first.

According to a Yahoo health page (, salicylates are a naturally occurring group of chemicals found in a wide range of foods, herbs and spices. [ ] The average ‘Western diet’ has an estimated Salicylate intake ranging from 10 to 200 mg per day. In comparison, the average dose of aspirin contains 650 mg of Salicylic acid. Naturally-occurring AND chemically similar to aspirin? Yahoo (no pun intended, hehe)! Oh, and by the way, salicylic acid is obtained from the active ingredient of the bark of the willow tree (or Salix, in Latin), which was used for centuries in traditional medicine to relieve fever and pain. Here follows a partial list of foods that have a high salicylate content. FRUIT: apricot, avocado, blackberry, black currant, blueberry, cherry, cranberry, date, grape, grapefruit, kiwi, mandarin, mulberry, nectarine, orange, peach, pineapple, plum, prune, dried raisins, raspberry, red currant, strawberry, watermelon etc. VEGETABLES: alfalfa sprouts, capsicum, champignon mushrooms, chicory, cucumber, eggplant, endive, hot pepper, olive, radish, tomato, zucchini, watercress etc. NUTS: almonds, cashews, etc. SWEETS: golden syrup, honey, liquorice, peppermint etc. HERBS AND SPICES: allspice, aniseed, bay leaf, black pepper, caraway, cardamom, cayenne, cinnamon, clove, cumin, curry, dill, five spice, garam masala, ginger, mace, mint, mixed herbs, mustard, nutmeg, oregano, paprika, pimiento, rosemary, sage, tarragon, thyme, turmeric, white pepper, etc. BEVERAGES: alcohol (especially apple cider, beer, sherry, brandy, liqueur, port, wine and rum), coffee, tea (black, caffeinated, decaffeinated, rosehip and peppermint), fruit juice etc.

Now, did I read TURMERIC? Yes, indeed, I did. And here comes my shocker for the day. 😉 I found an article ( titled Vindaloo Indian Dish Healthier than Aspirin, in which British nutrition researchers discovered that one portion of the Vindaloo dish contains more salicylate (95 mg) than a low dose aspirin tablet (65 mg.). Just ONE portion??? Vindaloo, by the way, is a traditional Indian dish with bits of boneless pork, onions, vinegar, garlic and lots of spices. I have made many Indian dishes, but confess that I have never made this one. Well, I guess I will be learning how to make it SOON! Oh, oh, I just had a possibly brilliant thought. Why couldn’t I mix my curcumin powder with just the spice part of Vindaloo (i.e., without the pork), and eat that concoction warmed up? Now how about that? A delicious and perhaps optimal way to reap all sorts of anti-myeloma benefits.Vindaloo for thought!

Warning: some folks are allergic to salicylates, so be cautious. Until I did research for this piece, I had no idea that there was an allergy to aspirin out there. So much to learn. Speaking of which, I forgot to mention that aspirin is a blood thinner. Another note of caution, thanks to Don’s comment!


  1. Good work Margaret!

    One possible caution though – aspirin (salicylate) is definitely a blood thinner and, if I recall right, so is curcumin. I stopped taking my daily baby aspirin when I started curcumin.

    But now, with this news, hmmmm.


  2. Hello Margaret,

    Prior to coming across your website, I have read several studies re curcumin and myeloma – most of which, I have to admit, went over my head.

    However, in laymans terms, I cannot figure how something inegested can actually affect the bone marrow production of abnormal cells. I have had MGUS for 21 years and have started to take curcumin with coconut milk (heated, as you suggested).
    Have you any ideas??!!

    Thanks, Dora

  3. Hi Dora, I will write to you privately as well. In the meantime, I just wanted to mention that your question is a key one, but I don’t have the scientific know-how to answer it. I wish I did! What I CAN tell you is that the results from my BMBs (bone marrow biopsies) went from 50% down to 40% malignancy in slightly over a year. That could be a mere fluke and have nothing to do with my curcumin intake. There is no certain way of telling, since BMBs are, in a way, unreliable tests. Reason: myeloma cells tend to clump together, so samples taken at the exact same time from different areas of the hip bone will yield different results. If my next BMB shows a further decrease, however, that would certainly strengthen the hypothesis that curcumin works at a deeper level, i.e., in the BM. Until then, we can only speculate. Oh, and HOW an ingested substance could affect the BM cells…oh dear, we would need a scientist to explain that! But it’s an excellent question, and I may try asking Prof. Aggarwal, the next time I write to him. Thanks!
    So, MGUS for 21 years, eh? Ok, we definitely need to TALK! 😉 Margaret

  4. Hi Margaret,

    Dora has posed a very interesting question. It’s something I’ve often wondered about but the question doesn’t only apply to curcumin but to all and any drug for MGUS/MM. Just how do they get inside the bones? But there again, I’ve never really understood how blood and all the other stuff gets out!

    As far as aspirin is concerned: it is indeed a miracle drug and it could be useful for many conditions. However, as Don says, watch out for the side effects. Most people know about ulcers but aspirin can raise levels of uric acid in the blood and that can be a problem for people with gout. There’s probably other things to beware of too.


  5. I am one of those MGUS patients who is allergic to aspirin. I was taking a daily baby aspirin as an atherosclerosis preventive (my Dad had his first MI at age 58, and I am 60). I couldn’t understand why I was having so much trouble with “mini-colds”: post-nasal drip so bad it made me cough, and get a mildly sore throat.” Eventually my usage of baby aspirin became sporadic. And finally I realized that I was starting my “mini-colds” only on days when I had taken aspirin the prior two days. I pulled out my PDR, and confirmed that the classic symptom of aspirin allergy is drippy sinuses. I stopped all aspirin usage, and haven’t had trouble with “mini-colds” since!

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