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PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:
4-Oct-2009

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Contact: Jessica Mikulski
newsroom@entnet.org
703-535-3762
American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery

Curcumin may inhibit nicotine-induced activation of head and neck cancers

New research released at world's largest ENT meeting

San Diego, CA - Curcumin, the compound that gives curry powder its yellow/orange color, may inhibit the adverse effects of nicotine in patients with head and neck cancer who continue to smoke.

In a paper presented at the 2009 American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF) Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO in San Diego, researchers examined the effects of curcumin on head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) growths. The study used an in vitro model of a variety of head and neck cancer cell lines. To mimic the clinical situation, HNSCC cells were pre-treated with curcumin and then nicotine was introduced. The results of the studies showed that the curcumin was able to block the nicotine from activating cancer causing cells.

Annually there are approximately 40,000 new cases of head and neck cancers and 13,000 deaths in the U.S. and 500,000 new cases worldwide. Recurrence of these cancers are high because many patients continue to smoke after successful treatment. Also, former smokers often use nicotine replacement therapy as an aid for successful tobacco cessation.

Although nicotine itself has not been shown to be carcinogenic, it has been shown to encourage the cancer-forming process. The researchers sought a safe, bioactive food compound that could be used not only as a chemopreventive agent but could also block the harmful effects of nicotine.

The results may help to discover additional therapies for cancer prevention and treatment.

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Title: Curcumin inhibits nicotine-induced activation of HNSCC
Presenters: Cherie-Ann O. Nathan, MD; Christopher Smelley, MS; Cheryl Clark, PhD; Shivang Shah, MD; Youhua Rong, MS

Information for the Media: The AAO-HNSF Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO Newsroom will be located in the San Diego Convention Center, Mezzanine Level, Room 14A. Hours of operation: Saturday, October 3, 12 pm to 5 pm; Sunday-Tuesday, October 4 - 6, 7:30 am to 5 pm; and Wednesday, October 7, 7:30 am to 2 pm (all hours Pacific time). The newsroom serves as a work space for credentialed members of the news media. The newsroom is managed and staffed by the AAO-HNS Communications Unit. Please see the AAO-HNS website for media credentialing requirements for the event.

Onsite Newsroom contact: 1-619-525-6202

About the AAO-HNS

The American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (www.entnet.org), one of the oldest medical associations in the nation, represents nearly 12,000 physicians and allied health professionals who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the ear, nose, throat, and related structures of the head and neck. The Academy serves its members by facilitating the advancement of the science and art of medicine related to otolaryngology and by representing the specialty in governmental and socioeconomic issues. The organization's vision: "Empowering otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeons to deliver the best patient care."



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