Research Papers:

TriCurin, a novel formulation of curcumin, epicatechin gallate, and resveratrol, inhibits the tumorigenicity of human papillomavirus-positive head and neck squamous cell carcinoma

Longzhu Piao, Sumit Mukherjee, Qing Chang, Xiujie Xie, Hong Li, Mario R. Castellanos, Probal Banerjee, Hassan Iqbal, Ryan Ivancic, Xueqian Wang, Theodoros N. Teknos and Quintin Pan _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:60025-60035. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.10620

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Longzhu Piao1,2, Sumit Mukherjee3,4, Qing Chang4,5, Xiujie Xie1,2, Hong Li6, Mario R. Castellanos7, Probal Banerjee3,4, Hassan Iqbal1,2, Ryan Ivancic1,2, Xueqian Wang1,2, Theodoros N. Teknos1,2 and Quintin Pan1,2

1Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, The Ohio State University Medical Center, Columbus, Ohio, USA

2Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute, The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbus, Ohio, USA

3Ph.D. Program in Biochemistry at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, New York, USA

4Department of Chemistry and Center for Developmental Neuroscience, College of Staten Island, Staten Island, New York, USA

5Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Staten Island University Hospital, Northwell Health, Staten Island, New York, USA

6Division of Pharmaceutics, College of Pharmacy, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA

7Division of Research, Department of Medicine, Staten Island University Hospital, Northwell Health, Staten Island, New York, USA

Correspondence to:

Quintin Pan, email: [email protected]

Keywords: human papillomavirus, p53, head and neck cancer, curcumin, catechin

Received: December 22, 2015     Accepted: May 13, 2016     Published: July 16, 2016


Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is the sixth most prevalent cancer worldwide with about 600,000 new cases diagnosed in the last year. The incidence of human papillomavirus-positive head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HPV-positive HNSCC) has rapidly increased over the past 30 years prompting the suggestion that an epidemic may be on the horizon. Therefore, there is a clinical need to develop alternate therapeutic strategies to manage the growing number of HPV-positive HNSCC patients. TriCurin is a composition of three food-derived polyphenols in unique stoichiometric proportions consisting of curcumin from the spice turmeric, resveratrol from red grapes, and epicatechin gallate from green tea. Cell viability, clonogenic survival, and tumorsphere formation were inhibited and significant apoptosis was induced by TriCurin in UMSCC47 and UPCI:SCC090 HPV-positive HNSCC cells. Moreover, TriCurin decreased HPV16E6 and HPV16E7 and increased p53 levels. In a pre-clinical animal model of HPV-positive HNSCC, intra-tumoral injection of TriCurin significantly inhibited tumor growth by 85.5% compared to vehicle group (P < 0.05, n = 7). Our results demonstrate that TriCurin is a potent anti-tumor agent for HPV-positive HNSCC. Further development of TriCurin as a novel anti-cancer therapeutic to manage the HPV-positive HNSCC population is warranted.

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