Peekaboo Update, New (Cancer) Stem Cell Clinical Trial And Another Good Reason To Take Curcumin

Peekaboo came home yesterday and is doing well. I went to pick her up at the vet’s at 5 PM. I had to keep her separated from the other cats until this morning so I put her in my parents’ room. She was not very steady on her feet and kept bumping into things (the litter box, the furniture ). I stayed with her until Stefano got home, then we took turns eating dinner so that one of us could be with her (we tried to leave her alone, but she howled). I know, only big-time cat lovers will understand this! 🙂 I spent the night in my parents’ room with Peekaboo, and Stefano slept with the other cats in our room. We have so rarely slept apart in all the years we have been together so, yes, last night was very odd. Anyway, Peekaboo was very happy to be home, nestled in my lap all evening, purring like mad and batting her blue eyes at me. She even did something she has never done before: she kneaded my legs. Cutie pie. This morning she isn’t jumping around like she normally does, but she seems just fine. A bit subdued, that’s all. To be expected.

I have a ton of things to post about, lots of news, but new things keep popping up in my e-mail box just as I think I have finished doing all my research and writing. Aaargh! So I have more reading to do today. In the meantime, I will post about a new clinical trial: Yesterday the Geron Corporation announced that it has enrolled the first myeloma patient in its GRN163L clinical trial. GRN163L is a novel inhibitor of telomerase, an enzyme that is expressed in all major types of cancer cells. This enzyme is essential for malignant cell growth and is absent or expressed transiently at low levels in most normal adult tissues. The most interesting aspect of this trial, however, as a MMA list member pointed out yesterday, is that GRN163L has been shown to target cancer STEM cells. Just like DMAPT (from parthenolide or feverfew). Now, if we can get rid of cancer stem cells, the ones that are resistant to conventional treatments and that cause cancer (myeloma, too, of course) to recur well, let’s just digest the implications of THAT statement…! 🙂

Today another MMA list member posted about a study in this month’s issue of “Blood” discussing how the Notch signaling pathway, a new one to me!, protects myeloma cells from apoptosis (death). You can read the abstract here: Well, I immediately, as usual!, googled Notch signaling and curcumin, and to my surprise (I wonder WHY I am still surprised…!), I found that, yes, apparently curcumin inhibits this signaling pathway (important, by the way, for cell to cell communication), see this 2006 abstract on pancreatic cancer cells in vitro: See also this December 2007 abstract on leukaemic cells: I don’t have time to do more research on Notch and curcumin today (busy in other fields…), but it’s always good to come across another good reason to be taking the orange powder! Yeah!


  1. Hi Margaret, The second of the three links in your last paragraph (/25bp4m) does not work for me. The other two are OK. Can you check that link and see if it works for you?

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