Oral carcinoma accounts for 40-50 percent of all cancers in India. Tobacco chewing, smoking and alcohol consumption are the major risk factors associated with the high incidence of oral cancer in India. Our aim was to investigate the chemopreventive potential of curcumin and piperine during 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA)-induced hamster buccal pouch carcinogenesis.
Oral squamous cell carcinoma was developed in the buccal pouch of Syrian golden hamsters, by painting them with 0.5 percent DMBA in liquid paraffin, three times a week for 14 weeks. The tumour incidence, tumour volume and burden were determined in the buccal pouches. The status of phase II detoxification agents, lipid peroxidation and antioxidants were estimated by specific colorimetric methods.
We observed 100 percent tumour formation in DMBA-alone painted hamsters. Disturbances in the status of lipid peroxidation, antioxidants and phase II detoxification agents were noticed in DMBA-alone painted hamsters. Oral administration of curcumin (80 mg/kg body weight) and piperine (50 mg/kg body weight) to DMBA-painted hamsters on alternate days to DMBA painting for 14 weeks completely prevented the formation of oral carcinoma. Also, curcumin and piperine restored the status of lipid peroxidation, antioxidants and detoxifying agents in DMBA-painted hamsters.
The chemopreventive efficacy of curcumin and piperine is probably due to their antilipidperoxidative and antioxidant potential as well as their modulating effect on the carcinogen detoxification process.