Chemopreventive Potential and Safety Profile of a Curcuma longa Extract in Women with Cervical Low-Grade Squamous Intraepithelial Neoplasia


Objective: To determine whether Curcuma longa Linn extract, NBFR-03, can arrest low-grade squamous intraepithelial neoplasia (LSIL) a 12 week intervention study was performed.
Methods: Of a total of 1473 women undergoing Pap smear screening, 88 cases had LSIL. Only those with persistent LSIL subsequent to antimicrobial therapy, and willing to follow the protocol (N=21), were included for clinical examination, Pap smears, colposcopy, clinical biochemistry, urinalysis and assessment of serum IL-6, being condcuted before and after treatment. Standardised NBFR-03 (0.2gm) capsules were administered, twice daily, for 12 weeks.
Results: None progressed to higher grade lesion as assessed by Pap smears and colposcopy. Sixteen cases regressed to atypia, ASCUS or inflammatory pattern; 3 persisted as LSIL, 1 discontinued early because of itching, and 1 did not start. None developed any significant abnormality clinically or biochemically. Micrometry showed a significant reduction in nuclear diameter and nucleocytoplasmic ratio after treatment (p<0.02, and <0.05 respectively). Serum IL-6 levels showed a significant decline (mean 248± 156 (SEM) vs 27.7± 10.5 (SEM) pg/ ml; p<0.05).
Conclusion: Use of NBFR-03 for 12 weeks was associated with an arrest or regression of LSIL in Pap smears and colposcopy, with reduction in the circulating IL-6 levels.