Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects



Document Type



Cisplatin is an anticancer drug which can cause the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that kill cancer cells. Curcumin is a naturally occurring plant compound that can increase ROS levels in cancer cells and enhance the activity of cisplatin against cancer, but it exhibits poor bioavailability. We investigated whether two synthetic curcumin analogs (curcuminoids), EF-24 and CLEFMA, with anti-cancer activity and improved bioavailability, increased cisplatin’s effect against cancer. A spectrophotometric fluorescent ROS assay was used to determine if cisplatin, the curcuminoids or combinations of cisplatin with a curcuminoid affected the level of ROS in the A549 non-small cell lung cancer cell line. Cisplatin treatment significantly increased cancer cell ROS levels, while both curcuminoids caused the level of ROS to significantly decline. When we combined cisplatin with either curcuminoid, there was a significant and even greater reduction in ROS than in the curcuminoid only treatments. Our results suggest that cisplatin and these curcuminoids signal through different pathways or pathway components to regulate the level of ROS in A549 cells.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Dr. Michael Smith, Dr. Jerry D. Monroe, Dr. Christopher Keller


Biology | Oncology | Pharmacology