Health Check Day and New Curcumin MD Anderson Article

I had to go to my doctor’s office yesterday because he wanted to have another look at me but was unable to make a house call. After listening to my wheezy chest, he insisted that I have an X-ray, so I had to go to the nearest radiology center to have that done. I will have the results this evening. Anyway, by the time we (my parents and I) got home, I was too pooped from the effort of driving (etc.) to write a post for my blog, as I had intended to do.

There is more health stuff. Since I was clearly not responding to the antibiotics I have been on since last Saturday, my doctor changed my course of treatment. So now my mother-in-law is giving me injections containing a different, stronger type of antibiotic twice a day (joy !), and I am also taking a different oral antibiotic. By now I must have more antibiotics than blood running through my veins! Well, the important thing is that the new type of antibiotics seem to be working, knock on wood. Since my dosage would probably have a positive effect on a sick animal the size of an African elephant, I feel weaker but am also coughing less violently this morning. Yes, I seem to have turned the corner. Finally. And my quirky dark sense of humour is back en force, always a good sign. It will be a long convalescence, though, apparently. Bummer. The bad news is that my parents (primary caregivers) are also ill. More or less with the same thing, even though they are not as ill as I have been. They may be forced to postpone their return trip to the U.S., though. I doubt they will be in shape to leave next Wednesday. Well, I would be happy to have them stay on, of course, but not for poor health reasons! Drat.

Since my parents and at least half of the residents of Florence are ill these days, I am feeling more upbeat about my brave little immune system. A friend of mine pointed out yesterday that all things considered I am doing quite well. She is right, of course! 🙂

On a brighter note. Yesterday that same dear friend sent me the link to a new MD Anderson article on curcumin. See: I was excited to read the news that a team of MD Anderson researchers is in the process of developing an intravenous, liposome-encapsulated delivery system for curcumin. Based on lab results, the researchers report that this system is very potent. I should mention that this is not the first time I have read about such delivery systems (see:, e.g., which discusses liposomal curcumin and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cell lines), but the BIG news, in my view, is that the MD Anderson curcumin team hopes to schedule a Phase I liposomal curcumin clinical trial in 2008.

2008??? Why, that’s just a few months away! Patients with different types of cancer would be enrolled. Boy, if I lived closer to Texas, I would be very glad to participate in this clinical trial! The researchers, by the way, have filed a patent application for this particular delivery system, and those who are interested in reading more about it (it’s very long, so I haven’t read the entire application, yet) can go to: The curcumin research team also published an article in the April 2007 issue of Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, discussing the growth inhibiting and apoptotic effects of liposomal curcumin on colorectal cancer in vitro and in vivo. See: Anyway, I urge you to have a look at the above-mentioned article, which also gives the results of a study done with pancreatic cancer patients. Be well, everyone!


  1. Hi Margaret,
    I hope you are feeling better. I’m new to your blog but I haven’t seen anything on Vitamin D and since you are taking antibiotics I thought you would be interested in the research on Vitamin D:
    If you are not familiar wih the Vitamin D Council you will be delighted with the evidence-based material you will find there:
    Vitamin D has a role to play in combatting cancer as well as infection.
    Best Regards,

  2. Hi Margaret,
    I’ve been reading Don05’s vitamin D articles at every spare moment and have found them to be quite interesting and informative. You and your other readers may already know how important Vitamin D is but I must admit, I did not. I just assumed I was getting enough!

    I’ve copied and pasted a few snippets of information from these articles that were of particular interest to me and would like to know what you think. Please keep in mind I know didley about medicine but I’m still looking for that magic bullet that may help us with our MM. I’ve placed a * beside my comments/questions.

    1. Activated vitamin D – like all steroid hormones – damasks the genome, turning protein production on and off, as your body requires. That is, vitamin D regulates genetic expression in hundreds of tissues throughout your body. This means it has as many potential mechanisms of action as genes it damasks.

    *Two buzz words/ phrases that went ding, ding, ding! Protein production on and off and genes. Sound familiar?

    2. Today, most humans only make about a thousand units of vitamin D a day from sun exposure; many people, such as the elderly or African Americans, make much less than that.

    *I was told when I was first diagnosed with MGUS that elderly, African American men are the most common population that develop MM. Very interesting!

    3. Current research indicates vitamin D deficiency plays a role in causing seventeen varieties of cancer as well as heart disease, stroke, hypertension, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, depression, chronic pain, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, muscle wasting, birth defects, and periodontal disease.

    *I had noooooo idea of the importance of Vitamin D or the lack thereof!

    4. Like all steroid hormones, activated vitamin D binds to a member of the nuclear hormone receptor superfamily where the complex then acts as a molecular switch to signal its target genes.

    *I’m not sure what this means but it sounds as though there may be a connection!

    Needless to say, I’ve increased my time in the sunshine, using no sunscreen as suggested, being careful not to over-do. According to these articles, vitamin D can help us develop strong bones and boost our immune systems, something we MMers certainly need. I’d be interested in your thoughts and those of your readers. Thanks, Donna

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