A combined treatment of curcumin, piperine, and taurine alters the circulating levels of IL-10 and miR-21 in hepatocellular carcinoma patients: a pilot study

Hala M. Hatab, Fatma F. Abdel Hamid, Ahmed F. Soliman, Tamer A. Al-Shafie, Yahia M. Ismail, Motawa E. El-Houseini


Background: Investigating and evaluating possible alternative therapeutic strategies to control hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a critical need because of its high prevalence and being one of the most lethal cancers. Curcumin and taurine showed potent anti-tumor activities in pre-clinical and clinical studies by targeting multiple pathways. Thus, this study was designed to assess the effect of a combined treatment consisted of curcumin, piperine, and taurine on circulating levels of interleukin-10 (IL-10), and microRNAs miR-141 and miR-21.
Methods: Twenty eligible HCC patients administrated an oral dose of 4 g curcumin, 40 mg piperine, and 500 mg taurine daily for three successive treatment cycles, each was a 30-day. The level of IL-10 along with the expression levels of miR-141, and miR-21 were monitored in serum before starting the treatment and after each cycle. Patients were followed-up for a period of 24 months.
Results: The combined treatment was able to produce a significant decrease in the levels of serum IL-10, and miR-21 while it resulted in a non-significant up-regulation of serum miR-141 expression level. At the end of the follow-up period, the median overall survival (OS) rate was found to be 17.00 months with a worse OS in patients with high baseline levels of circulating IL-10 and miR-21 compared to those with low levels. In contrast, a low baseline level of circulating miR-141 was associated with poor prognosis.
Conclusions: The combined treatment may be able to increase the OS rate by altering the circulating level of IL-10 and miR-21.