Background & aims: Familialadenomatous polyposis (FAP) is an autosomal-dominant disorder characterized by the development of hundreds of colorectal adenomas and eventual colorectal cancer. Regression of adenomas in this syndrome occurs with the administration of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors, but these compounds can have considerable side effects. We evaluated the efficacy of the combination of diet-derived nonprescription supplements curcumin and quercetin to regress adenomas in patients with FAP.
Methods: Five FAP patients with prior colectomy (4 with retained rectum and 1 with an ileal anal pouch) received curcumin 480 mg and quercetin 20 mg orally 3 times a day. The number and size of polyps were assessed at baseline and after therapy. The Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used to determine differences in the number and size of polyps. Treatment side effects and medication compliance also were evaluated.
Results: All 5 patients had a decreased polyp number and size from baseline after a mean of 6 months of treatment with curcumin and quercetin. The mean percent decrease in the number and size of polyps from baseline was 60.4% (P < .05) and 50.9% (P < .05), respectively. Minimal adverse side effects and no laboratory abnormalities were noted.
Conclusions: The combination of curcumin and quercetin appears to reduce the number and size of ileal and rectal adenomas in patients with FAP without appreciable toxicity. Randomized controlled trials are needed to validate these findings.