Enhanced systemic bioavailability of curcumin through transmucosal administration of a novel microgranular formulation

Brian Latimer, Oleksandr Ekshyyan, Neil Nathan, Tara Moore-Medlin, Xiaohua Rong, Xiaohui Ma, Alok Khandelwal, Hunter T. Christy, Fleurette Abreo, Gloria McClure, John A. Vanchiere, Gloria Caldito, Tammy Dugas, Kenneth McMartin, Timothy Lian, Vikas Mehta, Cherie Ann O. Nathan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background/Aim: Curcumin is a promising nutraceutical for chemoprevention of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Capsular formulations of curcumin demonstrate low systemic bioavailability. We aimed to determine if curcumin levels were higher in healthy volunteers and cancer patients with microgranular curcumin that allows for transmucosal absorption and identify a consistent biomarker. Patients and Methods: Eight healthy volunteers and 15 HNSCC patients completed the trials. Serum levels of curcumin were measured by HPLC. Biological activity of curcumin was assessed with Multiplex Immunoassay and immunohistochemistry. Results: We achieved higher serum levels of curcumin compared to trials using capsular formulation. In cancer patients a significant decrease in expression of fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) in post-biopsy samples and decreased serum levels of FGF- 2, granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GMCSF) and interleukin-17 (IL-17) (p<0.05) was observed. Conclusion: Transmucosal administration of microgranular curcumin leads to enhanced curcumin bioavailability that is associated with significant biological effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6411-6418
Number of pages8
JournalAnticancer Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Bioavailability
  • Curcumin
  • Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma
  • Microgranules

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Enhanced systemic bioavailability of curcumin through transmucosal administration of a novel microgranular formulation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this