Clinical Evidence

Long term use of curcumin in two smoldering multiple myeloma patients
J Hematol Malign. 2013;3(1):18-23
Smoldering Multiple Myeloma (SMM) is an asymptomatic plasma cell disorder. During the first 5 years, SMM has an overall risk of progression to multiple myeloma at a rate of 10% per year. Compared to monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS), SMM is a more advanced pre-malignant condition.

Due to highly unpredictable clinical course of SMM, early intervention involving reducing the abnormal protein load, the abnormal serum-free light chain ratio and the % plasma cell load is the method of approach.

Curcumin has been found to be effective against MGUS and SMM due to its anti-myeloma cell activity, which has been substantiated in several in vitro and in vivo studies. Researchers have also shown that oral Curcumin was effective against MGUS and SMM, in a select group of patients.

To study the long term use of Curcumin in two male patients with plasma cell dyscrasias.

Study Design:
  • This case report involved two male Caucasian patients (Age: 47 and 66 years) who were previously enrolled into a 9-month clinical trial of oral Curcumin in patients with plasma cell dyscrasias, and thereafter elected to continue on the same regimen of oral curcumin, for a period of 2 years
  • Both Patient #1 and #2 were diagnosed with SMM as per International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG) classification, who showed overall clinical improvement after 9 months of Curcumin therapy during previous clinical trial
  • After completion of the trial, these two patients were elected to continue with Curcumin therapy for 2 more years on a maintenance dose of 6g/day
  • At the end of 2 years, blood tests and a bone marrow biopsy were performed in order to determine influence of Curcumin on disease progression
Results and Discussion:
  • Both patients showed continued decrease in paraprotein, total protein,
    gamma-globulin and IgG
  • CD 138+ plasma cells in bone marrow of both patients was reduced by 50%
  • Patient #1 demonstrated reduction in free light chain ratio (rFLC) from 26.5 to 4.5 after 2 years of treatment
  • Other parameters like β-2-microglobulin, lactate dehydrogenase, calcium, albumin, haemoglobin, creatinine and parathyroid hormone levels remained same in both patients when evaluated after 2 years of treatment

A significant improvement in a number of markers of disease activity with no side-effects from long term, high dose Curcumin therapy was witnessed. Hence, it is suggested that SMM patients may be benefited from long term Curcumin therapy without any toxicity.