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.
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..
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]