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Home > Newsletters > January 2010 > Recent Research

Points - Recent Research

  Oral Chinese Herbal Medicine (CHM) as an Adjuvant Treatment During Chemotherapy for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
  Anticancer Effects of Flavonoid Derivatives Isolated from Millettia reticulata Benth (Ji Xue Teng) in Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells
Immunological Enhancement of Immunosuppressed Chickens by Chinese Herbal Extracts

Oral Chinese Herbal Medicine (CHM) as an Adjuvant Treatment During Chemotherapy for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Chen S, et al. School of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK.

BACKGROUND: Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) remains a major global health problem because of its prevalence and poor prognosis. Treatment options are limited and there is a need to explore alternatives. This systematic review evaluates the role of Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) in association with chemotherapy for NSCLC. METHODS: English and Chinese databases were searched for RCTs comparing CHM with conventional biomedical treatment or placebo. Papers were reviewed systematically and data were analyzed using standard Cochrane software Revman 5. RESULTS: Fifteen Chinese trials involving 862 participants met the inclusion criteria. All trials were of poor quality with a considerable risk of bias. There was a significant improvement in quality of life (QoL) (increased Karnofsky Performance Status) (RR 1.83, 95% CI 1.41-2.38, p<0.00001 for both stages III, IV only NSCLC and all stages NSCLC) and less anaemia (RR 0.37, 95% CI 0.15-0.91, p=0.03 for stages III, IV only NSCLC; p=0.005 for all stages NSCLC) and neutropenia (RR 0.42, 95% CI 0.22-0.82, p=0.01 for stages III, IV only NSCLC; p<0.00001 for all stages NSCLC) when CHM is combined with chemotherapy compared to chemotherapy alone. There was no significant difference in short term effectiveness and limited inconclusive data concerning long term survival. Five promising herbs have been identified. CONCLUSION: It is possible that oral CHM used in conjunction with chemotherapy may improve QoL in NSCLC. This needs to be examined further with more rigorous methodology.

Lung Cancer. 2009 Dec 14.

Source: PubMed

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Anticancer Effects of Flavonoid Derivatives Isolated from Millettia reticulata Benth (Ji Xue Teng) in Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells

Fang SC, et al. Department of Food Nutrition, Chung Hwa University of Medical Technology, 89 Wenhwa First Street, Tainan 71703, Taiwan.

Millettia reticulata Benth is cultivated in Asian countries. M. reticulata Benth has multiple biological functions and is one of the oldest tonic herbs in traditional Chinese medicine. It has been elevated to one of the most commonly used herbs in modern Chinese medicine. The aims of this work were to study the in vitro anticancer activity of flavonoid derivatives isolated from the stems of M. reticulata Benth. Six flavonoid derivatives including (-)-epicatechin (1), naringenin (2), 5,7,3',5'-tetrahydroxyflavanone (3), formononetin (4), isoliquiritigenin (5), and genistein (6) were isolated from the stems of M. reticulata Benth. The structures of 1-6 were determined by spectroscopic methods. The effects of flavonoid derivatives (1-6) on the viability of human cancer cells (including HepG2, SK-Hep-1, Huh7, PLC5, COLO 205, HT-29, and SW 872 cells) were investigated. The results indicated that genistein (6) had the strongest inhibitory activity with an IC(50) value of 16.23 muM in SK-Hep-1 human hepatocellular carcinoma cells. Treatment of SK-Hep-1 cells with genistein (6) caused loss of mitochondrial membrane potential. Western blot data revealed that genistein (6) stimulated an increase in the protein expression of Fas, FasL, and p53. Additionally, treatment with genistein (6) changed the ratio of expression levels of pro- and anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family members and subsequently induced the activation of caspase-9 and caspase-3, which was followed by cleavage of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP). These results demonstrate that genistein (6) induces apoptosis in SK-Hep-1 cells via both Fas- and mitochondria-mediated pathways.

J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Dec 8..

Source: PubMed/font>

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Immunological Enhancement of Immunosuppressed Chickens by Chinese Herbal Extracts 

Liu FX, et al. College of Veterinary Medicine, Shandong Agricultural University, #61 Dai-Zong Road, Taian, Shandong 271018, PR China.

Radix astragali, Radix codonopis, Herba epimedii and Radix glycyrrizae are 4 plants commonly used in Chinese traditional medicine or veterinary medicine to improve immune functions against chronic diseases in humans and animals. AIM OF THE STUDY: We compared immunological enhancement by 4 herbal extracts in clinical healthy chickens or immunosuppressed chickens singly and in combination. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Water extracts of 4 herbs individually and in different combinations were supplemented in drinking water. Hemagglutination inhibition (HI) antibody titers against Newcastle disease virus (NDV) and H5 avian influenza virus (H5-AIV) after vaccination were measured as indicators to evaluate immunological stimulation across groups supplemented with different herbal extracts. The experiments were conducted in both clinically healthy chickens and chickens with immunosuppression induced by reticuloendotheliosis virus (REV) infection. RESULTS: In clinically healthy chickens HI antibody titers against NDV and H5-AIV after vaccination were not influenced by supplementation with the herbal extracts of Radix astragali, Radix codonopis, Herba epimedii and Radix glycyrrizae in drinking water. In chicks with REV-induced immunosuppression, however, supplementation of some herbal extracts significantly increased HI antibody titers to NDV and H5-AIV when compared to the immunosuppressed control group (P<0.01), but the titers were still lower than those in chicks not infected by REV. The 4 herbal mixtures produced the best enhancement among various combinations. The components of the herbal extract were water soluble and treatment by ether had no influence on immunological enhancement. The molecular weights of the active components of the herbal extracts were in the range of 10,000-100,000Da. CONCLUSION: Our results show that the herbal extract supplementation in drinking water can induce an immune stimulation response in immunosuppressed chickens. It suggests that chickens with REV infection-induced immunosuppression could be used as an experiment model for determination of immunological enhancement effects of some herbal components.

J Ethnopharmacol.. [Epub ahead of print]

Source: PubMed

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