Fluorinated and N -Acryloyl-Modified 3,5-Di[( E )-benzylidene]piperidin-4-one Curcuminoids for the Treatment of Pancreatic Carcinoma
Pancreatic carcinoma is a cancer disease with high mortality. Thus, new and efficient treatments for this disease are badly needed. Curcumin has previously shown promising effects in pancreatic cancer patients; however, this natural compound suffers from inadequate efficacy and bioavailability, preventing its clinical approval. The synthetic curcuminoid EF24 was developed with activities superior to curcumin against various cancer types. In this study, a series of analogs of EF24 were investigated for anticancer effects on pancreatic carcinoma models. A distinct activity boost was achieved by straightforward N -acrylation of EF24 analogs, in particular, of compounds bearing 3-fluoro-4-methoxybenzylidene, 3,4-difluorobenzylidene, and 4-trifluoromethylbenzylidene moieties, while no improvement was seen for N -acryloyl-modified EF24. Apoptosis induction and suppression of phospho-STAT3 levels were determined, the latter corroborated by docking of active curcuminoids into STAT3. Hence, promising new clues for the development of efficient and superior curcuminoids as valuable treatment options for one of the most lethal cancer diseases were discovered in this study.