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Journal of Skin Cancer
Volume 2012, Article ID 147863, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/147863
Research Article

Topical Curcumin-Based Cream Is Equivalent to Dietary Curcumin in a Skin Cancer Model

1Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Shreveport, LA 71130-3932, USA
2Feist-Weiller Cancer Center, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Shreveport, LA 71130-3932, USA
3Department of Biochemistry, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Shreveport, LA 71130-3932, USA
4Department of Pathology, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Shreveport, LA 71130-3932, USA
5Boudreaux’s Compounding Pharmacy, Shreveport, LA 71130-3932, USA
6Department of Surgery, Overton Brooks VA Medical Center, Shreveport, LA 71130-3932, USA

Received 7 September 2012; Accepted 20 November 2012

Academic Editor: Ajit K. Verma

Copyright © 2012 Kunal Sonavane et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Skin squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), the most common cancer in the USA, is a growing problem with the use of tanning booths causing sun-damaged skin. Antiproliferative effects of curcumin were demonstrated in an aggressive skin cancer cell line SRB12-p9 ( compared to control). Topical formulation was as effective as oral curcumin at suppressing tumor growth in a mouse skin cancer model. Curcumin at 15 mg administered by oral, topical, or combined formulation significantly reduced tumor growth compared to control ( ). Inhibition of pAKT, pS6, p-4EBP1, pSTAT3, and pERK1/2 was noted in SRB12-p9 cells post-curcumin treatment compared to control ( ). Inhibition of pSTAT3 and pERK1/2 was also noted in curcumin-treated groups in vivo. IHC analysis revealed human tumor specimens that expressed significantly more activated pERK ( ) and pS6 ( ) than normal skin samples. This is the first study to compare topical curcumin to oral curcumin. Our data supports the use of curcumin as a chemopreventive for skin SCC where condemned skin is a significant problem. Prevention strategies offer the best hope of future health care costs in a disease that is increasing in incidence due to increased sun exposure.