A revolutionary new implant made from curry powder could beat breast cancer.
The device is packed with a spice used to make turmeric - which gives curry its bright yellow colour. Now scientists have found the spice, curcumin, shrinks tumours in mice by about a third and slows the rate at which rogue cells reproduce.
Numerous studies have found curcumin has anti-cancer properties. But eating lots of curry is not the answer as most of the spice just gets broken down in the stomach.
Scientists at the University of Louisville, Kentucky, got round the problem by packing the savoury powder inside miniature dissolving capsules. Each one is just two millimetres long and contains 200 milligrammes of powder.
They implanted tumour-ridden mice with two capsules each and fed another group a daily diet of the curry spice. For the next four months, they monitored tumour growth.The results, published in Cancer Prevention Research, showed the curry diet had no effect. But the spicy implants reduced the size of tumours and stopped them multiplying so quickly. Until now, the problem has been getting enough curcumin into the bloodstream to have any major effect.