Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects



Document Type



Cisplatin is a common chemotherapy drug used to treat various cancers; however, it is relatively ineffective against many cancers, including several types of lung cancer. One approach that could improve cisplatin’s effect is to combine it with another drug that produces a synergistic response greater than either drug alone. Curcumin, a naturally occurring plant compound, has been investigated for synergisms in conjunction with cisplatin chemotherapy, but curcumin use is hampered by its low bioavailability. This project investigated whether two synthetic curcumin analogs, EF-24 and CLEFMA (curcuminoids), which have greater solubility than curcumin, could, when combined with cisplatin, decrease the migration rate of the non-small cell lung cancer cell line, A549. Dishes of A549 were treated with media only control, cisplatin, EF-24, CLEFMA or combinations of cisplatin with either curcumin analog. Then, a scratched clearing was introduced through the cells and photographs were taken at timed intervals to determine if either curcuminoid increased the effect of cisplatin by slowing cell migration into the cleared area. We found that when combined with cisplatin, both curcuminoids increased the effectiveness of cisplatin against cancer cell migration and reduced wound recovery.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

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


Biology | Oncology | Pharmacology