Concentration- Dependent Effects of Curcumin on 5-Fluorouracil Efficacy in Bladder Cancer Cells

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Deptartment of Pathology, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.

2 Department of Urology, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.

3 Department of Pathology and Oncology, Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine, Maryland, USA.

4 East Sage Research Corporation, Isfahan Science and Technology Town, Isfahan, Iran.


Purpose: Curcumin (Cur), a herbal ingredient with anticancer properties, has been shown to inhibit growth of malignant cells in vivo and in vitro. However, studies on combination therapy of Cur with chemotherapeutic drugs have been limited. Here, effects of Cur on the cytotoxicity of 5-Fluorouracil (FU) were investigated with epithelial bladder cancer cells (EJ138) in vitro. Methods: EJ138 cells were treated with 5 and 15 μM of Cur and/ or 100 μM of FU. Cell viability was measured by sulforhodamine B colorimetric assay. The glucose concentration as an index of cell metabolism was evaluated by an enzymatic method. Total oxidant and antioxidant capacities were estimated by the ferrous oxidation-xylenol (FOX1) method and ferric reducing antioxidant power assay (FRAP), respectively. Results: Combination of 5 μM Cur with FU significantly reduced its cytotoxicity in EJ138 cells, while 15 μM Cur caused an opposite increase. Significant increase in glucose concentration at 24 h and decrease in the FRAP value at 48 h incubation was observed in cells treated with FU in combination with Cur. There were no significant changes in total oxidant capacity with the combination therapy. Conclusion: Our findings suggest a crucial role of Cur concentration in regulating chemotherapeutic agent-induced cytotoxicity. Further investigations are needed to understand the precise mechanisms of action of Cur and determine appropriate doses with combination therapy for clinical application against human cancers.


Main Subjects

Volume 18, Issue 12
December 2017
Pages 3225-3230
  • Receive Date: 13 April 2017
  • Revise Date: 22 October 2017
  • Accept Date: 27 November 2017
  • First Publish Date: 01 December 2017