Herbal medicine significantly inhibited the growth of gastric tumor, pharmacological study
A team of researchers in University of Hong Kong has been studying a kind of herbal medicine in gastric cancer with very low systemic toxicity. This herbal medicine, called CKBM, is a combination of herbs and yeasts including Wu Wei Zi (Schisandra chinensis), Ginseng (Panax ginseng), Hawthorn (Fructus Crataegi), Jujube (Ziziphus jujube), Soybean (Glycine Max) and Saccharomyces cerevisiae (baker?s yeast).
The herbal medicine has demonstrated being capable of improving immune responsiveness through the induction of cytokine mediators, such as TNF-a and IL-6. In this study, the researchers investigated the effect of CKBM on gastric cancer growth in nude mice using a human xenograft model. Gastric cancer tissues (1.5 mm3) were implanted subcutaneously into the right dorsal area of mice. Ten days after implantation, animals were randomized into treatment groups fed with various doses of CKBM intragastrically daily for 14 and 28 days and untreated group.
Results showed that CKBM significantly inhibited the growth of gastric tumor in nude mice.
The efficacy of CKBM exhibited a dose-dependent manner in this ex-vivo model during the 28-day experimental period and exerted the inhibitory action as early as 21 days after drug treatment.
The effective doses of CKBM were found to be 0.4 and 0.8 ml/mouse, which significantly reduced the number of PCNA-positive cells and increased the apoptotic cells in the tumor tissues. In contrast, CKBM did not affect angiogenesis at the time when it inhibited tumor growth, although it increased with time along with tumor development in the control group.
These findings implicated that CKBM suppressed gastric cancer growth specifically through the reduction of cell proliferation and promotion of apoptosis in this model, and provides future potential targets of this drug candidate on cancer therapy. Further clinical trials in humans are needed to examine the pharmacokinetics and the therapeutic action of CKBM on cancer patients.
The paper was published in International Journal of Medical Sciences, 2004 1(3): 137-145.
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On other fronts, a group of researchers headed by Dr Luis Vitetta, Director of Research at Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, and Professor Avni Sali in Swinburne University in Melbourne, Australia is currently conducting a clinical trial to evaluate the effect of CKBM in participants with HIV/AIDS. CKBM is safe in the sense that all constituents of the herbal supplement are currently available as over the counter herbal preparations in Australia.
Author contact: Prof. C.H. Cho, Chair Professor of Pharmacology, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China. Tel: (852) 2819 9252, Fax: (852) 2817 0859, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
~ Int. J. Med. Sci. press release
International Journal of Medical Sciences, 2004 1(3): 137-145
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