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Surgery. 2012 May;151(5):736-44. doi: 10.1016/j.surg.2011.12.014. Epub 2012 Jan 28.

Liposome-encapsulated curcumin suppresses neuroblastoma growth through nuclear factor-kappa B inhibition.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN 38105, USA.



Nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) has been implicated in tumor cell proliferation and survival and in tumor angiogenesis. We sought to evaluate the effects of curcumin, an inhibitor of NF-κB, on a xenograft model of disseminated neuroblastoma.


For in vitro studies, neuroblastoma cell lines NB1691, CHLA-20, and SK-N-AS were treated with various doses of liposomal curcumin. Disseminated neuroblastoma was established in vivo by tail vein injection of NB1691-luc cells into SCID mice, which were then treated with 50 mg/kg/day of liposomal curcumin 5 days/week intraperitoneally.


Curcumin suppressed NF-κB activation and proliferation of all neuroblastoma cell lines in vitro. In vivo, curcumin treatment resulted in a significant decrease in disseminated tumor burden. Curcumin-treated tumors had decreased NF-κB activity and an associated significant decrease in tumor cell proliferation and an increase in tumor cell apoptosis, as well as a decrease in tumor vascular endothelial growth factor levels and microvessel density.


Liposomal curcumin suppressed neuroblastoma growth, with treated tumors showing a decrease in NF-κB activity. Our results suggest that liposomal curcumin may be a viable option for the treatment of neuroblastoma that works via inhibiting the NF-κB pathway.

Copyright © 2012 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

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