Cigarette smoking is the main risk factor for bladder cancer development. Among the mediators of this effect of smoking is nuclear factor-kappa B. Curcumin suppresses cellular transformation by downregulating the activity of nuclear factor-kappa B. Prima-1 is a compound that induces apoptosis in human tumor cells, restoring the function of mutant p53. Our study aimed to evaluate the effects of curcumin and prima-1 in an animal model of bladder cancer.
Tumor implantation was achieved in six- to eight-week-old female C57BL/6 mice by introducing MB49 bladder cancer cells into the bladder. Intravesical treatment with curcumin and Prima-1 was performed on days 2, 6, 10, and 14. On day 15, the animals were sacrificed. Immunohistochemistry was used to determine the expression of cyclin D1, Cox-2, and p21. Cell proliferation was examined using PCNA.
Animals treated with curcumin exhibited a higher degree of necrosis than animals in other groups. Immunohistochemistry showed reduced expression of cyclin D1 in the curcumin-treated group. All of the cells in mice treated with curcumin were p21 positive, suggesting that the p53 pathway is induced by this compound. Prima-1 did not induce any change in tumor size, necrosis, cell proliferation, or the expression of proteins related to the p53 pathway in this animal model.
Curcumin showed activity in this animal bladder cancer model and probably acted via the regulation of nuclear factor-kappa B and p53. Therefore, curcumin is a good choice for the use in clinical trials to treat superficial bladder cancer as an alternative to bacillus Calmette-Guerin. In contrast, Prima-1 does not seem to have an effect on bladder cancer.