Research, Case Studies & Testimonials

Reduced intestinal side effects of Chemotherapy

Published On: Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Category: Integrative Cancer Care

The four-herb Chinese medicine PHY906 reduces chemotherapy-induced gastrointestinal toxicity Sci Transl Med. 2010 Aug 18;2(45):45ra59).

The Chinese herbal formula Huang Qin Tang (Scutellaria Decoction) reduces the intestinal side-effects of chemotherapy in cancer patients by stimulating gut cell division and reducing inflammation. The four-herb formula (consisting of Scutellariae Radix [Huang Qin], Jujubae Fructus [Da Zao], Paeoniae Radix alba [Bai Shao] and Glycyrrhizae Radix preparata [Zhi Gan Cao]) is traditionally used to treat gastrointestinal symptoms including diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting. A recent clinical trial of a laboratory formulation of the medicine (PHY906) carried out in the USA, confirmed that it reduces gut damage caused by chemotherapy in gastrointestinal cancer patients. (Phase I study of the botanical formulation PHY906 with capecitabine in advanced pancreatic and other gastrointestinal malignancies. Phytomedicine. 2010 Mar;17(3-4):161-9).

In another study, American researchers used chemotherapy to treat mice with intestinal tumours. The treatment shrank the tumours, but also caused severe damage to the intestinal lining of the animals. PHY906 was found to restore the damaged intestinal epithelium within four days by promoting the regeneration of intestinal stem cells. The researchers measured the activity of genes in the gut cells of mice and found that genes in the Wnt pathway - which encourages progenitor cells in the gut to divide - were up-regulated. In addition PHY906 was found to block the migration of inflammatory cells into the gut, and inhibit the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and the activity of three genes linked to inflammation (Cox2, NF-κB and iNOS).

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