Clinical Research Papers:

Evaluation of intracavitary administration of curcumin for the treatment of sarcomatoid mesothelioma

Daniel L. Pouliquen _, Béatrice Nawrocki-Raby, Joëlle Nader, Stéphanie Blandin, Myriam Robard, Philippe Birembaut and Marc Grégoire

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:57552-57573. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.15744

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Daniel L. Pouliquen1,2,3, Béatrice Nawrocki-Raby4,5,6, Joëlle Nader1,2,3, Stéphanie Blandin2,7, Myriam Robard2,7, Philippe Birembaut4,5,6,8 and Marc Grégoire1,2,3

1 INSERM, UMR 1232, Nantes, France

2 Université de Nantes, Nantes, France

3 CNRS ERL, Nantes, France

4 INSERM, UMR-S 903, Reims, France

5 Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne, Reims, France

6 SFR CAP-Santé, Reims, France

7 Plate-forme MicroPICell, SFR François Bonamy, Nantes, France

8 Laboratory of Biopathology, CHU Reims, Reims, France

Correspondence to:

Daniel L. Pouliquen, email:

Keywords: curcumin, sarcomatoid mesothelioma, rat, orthotopic tumor model

Received: August 20, 2016 Accepted: February 06, 2017 Published: February 25, 2017


A rat model of sarcomatoid mesothelioma, mimicking some of the worst clinical conditions encountered, was established to evaluate the therapeutic potential of intracavitary curcumin administration.

The M5-T1 cell line, selected from a collection established from F344 rats induced with asbestos, produces tumors within three weeks, with extended metastasis in normal tissues, after intraperitoneal inoculation in syngeneic rats. The optimal concentration/time conditions for killing M5-T1 cells with curcumin were first determined in vitro. Secondly, the potential of intraperitoneal curcumin administration to kill tumor cells in vivo was evaluated in tumor-bearing rats, in comparison with a reference epigenetic drug, SAHA.

Both agents administered at days 21 and 26 after tumor challenge produced necrosis within the solid tumors at day 28. However, tumor tissue necrosis induced with curcumin was much more extensive than with SAHA, and was characterized by infiltration with mononuclear phagocytic cells. In contrast, tumor tissue treated with SAHA contained foci of resistant cells and was infiltrated by many isolated CD8+ cells. The treatment of tumor-bearing rats with 1.5 mg/kg curcumin on days 7, 9, 11 and 14 after tumor challenge dramatically reduced the mean total tumor mass at day 16. Clusters of CD8+ T lymphocytes were observed at the periphery of small residual tumor masses in the peritoneal cavity, which presented a significant reduction in mitotic index, IL6 and vimentin expression compared with tumors in untreated rats.

These data open up interesting new prospects for the therapy of sarcomatoid mesothelioma with curcumin and its derivatives.

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