Sensitizing human multiple myeloma cells to the proteasome inhibitor bortezomib by novel curcumin analogs…

Yesterday, Stefano, my smoldering blog reader now real-life friend DB and I attended the meeting with Dr. Robert Kyle (see day before yesterday’s post). I was finally able to shake his hand and thank him for his kindness and for telling me, back in 2005, that I was in the “watch and wait” category and should NOT be treated. He remembered me and was clearly very happy that I am still stable and smoldering. I think I might even have convinced him that curcumin could have had a hand in that. 😉 But that’s for my meeting post, not for this one.

Ah, at the meeting I also met, in the flesh!, a member of the Italian MGUS group of which I am co-administrator on Facebook. It’s so much fun meeting people that you chat or correspond with, I must say. And MF turned out to be a real hoot! Stefano, DB and I also met a couple of other people who were interested in my curcumin regimen. One, another “smolderer,” has already contacted me via the blog…and in fact, I just found out that, following the e-mail exchange we had earlier today, he has already ordered enough curcumin for the initial two-month protocol…wow, that was FAST! 🙂

Anyway, I took copious notes, and Stefano even taped the entire meeting with his iPhone (ahhhh, technology…!), so it will take me a few days to get my thoughts organized enough to write a post.

In the meantime, it just so happens that I received a Google Alert on a new curcumin myeloma study just now. Hah! Timely! So I decided to write a quick note about that today. Here’s the link:

Okay, so what is this? It’s another proteasome study, an in vitro AND in vivo one. Now, the big proteasome inhibitor in conventional myeloma treatment is, of course, bortezomib or Velcade. But we now know that some natural thingies also inhibit those pesky proteasomes, including curcumin (goes without saying! 🙂 ) and quercetin (see my quercetin post, which I wrote last week)…Therefore, I’m always super pleased when I come across a study integrating conventional with “alternative” (I use quote marks, because I take into consideration ONLY scientifically-backed stuff, not crazy wacky cancer “cures” that have no scientific validity whatsoever…). I mean, c’mon, it doesn’t take a genius to point out that we should stop ignoring the fact that conventional and scientifically-backed natural extracts could really work together to punch our myeloma right where it hurts!!! So let’s team them up! Yeah!

Anyway, these are the bits of the abstract that I found interesting:

  1. speaking about the use of Velcade for refractory myeloma, about 60% of patients do not respond to bortezomib due to the emergence of resistance. Sixty percent??? I had no idea. 
  2. Here we show that the water-soluble analog of curcumin #12, but not curcumin, in combination with bortezomib could enhance the proteasome-inhibitory effect in multiple myeloma cells. Yeah! Incidentally, until I read the full study, I cannot obviously comment on the finding that “curcumin” (unlike its water-soluble analog, that is) apparently did NOT enhance the proteasome-inhibitory effect of bortezomib. Which type of “curcumin” was used as a control in this study? The abstract doesn’t tell us that. For now, we’ll leave it at that…
  3. when the myeloma cells were first incubated together with this curcumin analog, they ended up being more susceptible to the bortezomib, even at almost-but-not-quite-lethal doses. I’d say that is really something. 
  4. in conclusion, the researchers state that These findings justify further investigation into those combinations that may yield potential therapeutic benefit.

I’d say so, too! Hear hear! 


  1. Revlimid stopped working for mee. I began curcumin 4 gms per day and biaxin…biaxin is being seen as a b great drug to reverse resistance of revlimid when it stops working…and curcumin slows the progress of mm ….I believevin this and have ha incredible results

  2. Let me get back to you later this week when my new labs come back…..but briefly, my 3 yr cocktail has been revlimid …slowly decreasing dose secondary to side effects…and in nov 2011 my numbers were showing a con,Ted but very real increase…velcade was next….but in dec I began biaxin 500mg bid and curcumin with bioptene..”.and was encouraged by folks in Boston. …I live and am primarily treated in Balt..nonetheless, with these additions, my m protein is o.3and IgA 600
    It is something that will buy me some time. I believe, in all fairness that the apparent resistance of my revlimid was most helped by biaxin after talking with many other folks…but I I also believe that curcumin is slowing down the process of the blossoming resistance I was developing with revlimid. I have had contacts with other patients who have had surprisingly good results with biaxin on those days they take revlimid….

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