Thomas Efferth1, Paul C.H. Li2, Venkata S. Badireenath Konkimalla1 and Bernd Kaina3
1 - German Cancer Research Center, Pharmaceutical Biology (C015), Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
2 - Department of Chemistry, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, V5A 1S6, Canada
3 - Institute of Toxicology, University of Mainz, Obere Zahlbacher Straße 67, 55131 Mainz, Germany
Available online 17 July 2007.
Many natural products and derivatives thereof belong to the standard repertoire of cancer chemotherapy. Examples are Vinca alkaloids, taxanes and camptothecins. In recent years, the potential of natural products from plants, notably from medicinal plants used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), has been recognized by the scientific community in the Western world. To provide an example of the most recent developments in this field, we have selected several compounds, namely artesunate, homoharringtonine, arsenic trioxide and cantharidin, that are found in natural TCM products and that have the potential for use in cancer therapy. Controlled clinical studies have shown that homoharringtonine and arsenic trioxide can exert profound activity against leukaemia. Increased knowledge of the molecular mechanisms of TCM-derived drugs and recent developments in their applications demonstrate that the combination of TCM with modern cutting-edge technologies provides an attractive strategy for the development of novel and improved cancer therapeutics.
By: Sam Gaines, Staff Writer
Acupuncture is now officially recommended for lung cancer patients experiencing fatigue, dyspnea, chemotherapy-induced neuropathy, or to soothe symptoms of pain or nausea and vomiting.
Evidence-based guidelines published by the American College of Chest Physicians in September recommend acupuncture for lung cancer patients experiencing fatigue, dyspnea, chemotherapy-induced neuropathy, or to soothe symptoms of pain or nausea and vomiting. Massage therapy is recommended for patients experiencing anxiety or pain.
The new edition of these standard guidelines represent the first time complementary and integrative medicine has been addressed in the prevention and treatment of lung cancer. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States, causing more fatalities than the next four most common types of cancer combined.
The new guidelines were developed and reviewed by 100 multidisciplinary panel members and have been endorsed by the American Association for Bronchology, American Association for Thoracic Surgery, American College of Surgeons Oncology Group, American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology, Asian Pacific Society of Respirology, Oncology Nurses Society, Society of Thoracic Surgeons, and the World Association of Bronchology.
Source: Chest, September 2007
Author(s): WONG R. ; SAGAR C. M. ; SAGAR S. M.
Abstract: Recent evidence suggests that many traditional Chinese medical therapies are effective for the supportive care of cancer patients. This is a review of some of the published literature (indexed in Medline) and our own practical experience It is not intended to be a systematic review, but does provide various levels of evidence which support further research into a developing model of integrative care.The holistic approach of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) may be integrated into conventional Western Medicine to supplement deficiencies in the current biomedical model. The philosophy of TCM proposes novel hypotheses which will support the development of a science-based holistic medicine.
Identifier: PMID : 11545543 ISSN : 0305-7372 CODEN : CTREDJ
Source: Cancer treatment reviews Y. 2001, vol. 27, No. 4, pages 235-246 [bibl. : 191 ref.]
Recent studies have shown that acupuncture can help control a number of symptoms and side effects -- such as pain, fatigue, dry mouth, nausea, and vomiting -- associated with a variety of cancers and their treatments.
A recent study [PubMed Abstract] conducted by Memorial Sloan-Kettering investigators and published in the April 2010 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology sought to determine if acupuncture could reduce pain and dysfunction in individuals with cancer of the head or neck who had received a surgical dissection of lymph nodes in their neck.
The study found that individuals in the group receiving acupuncture experienced significant reductions in pain and dysfunction when compared with individuals receiving standard care. Individuals in the acupuncture group also reported significant improvement in xerostomia, a condition in which patients receiving adjuvant radiation therapy experience extreme dry mouth.
Wen-jing Ruan,1 Mao-de Lai,†‡1 and Jian-guang Zhou2
1 - Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310006, China
2 - Department of Dermatology, the Second Affiliated Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310009, China
Currently there is considerable interest among oncologists to find anticancer drugs in Chinese Herbal Medicine (CHM). In the past, clinical data showed that some herbs possessed anticancer properties, but western scientists have doubted the scientific validity of CHM due to the lack of scientific evidence from their perspective. Recently there have been encouraging results, from a western perspective, in the cancer research field regarding the anticancer effects of CHM. Experiments showed that CHM played its anticancer role by inducing apoptosis and differentiation, enhancing the immune system, inhibiting angiogenesis, reversing multidrug resistance (MDR), etc. Clinical trials demonstrated that CHM could improve survival, increase tumor response, improve quality of life, or reduce chemotherapy toxicity, although much remained to be determined regarding the objective effects of CHM in human in the context of clinical trials. Interestingly, both laboratory experiments and clinical trials have demonstrated that when combined with chemotherapy, CHM could raise the efficacy level and lower toxic reactions. These facts raised the feasibility of the combination of herbal medicines and chemotherapy, although much remained to be investigated in this area.
North Central Cancer Treatment Group reports on pilot ginseng study
CHICAGO — North Central Cancer Treatment Group (NCCTG) researchers, based at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., have generated preliminary data suggesting that a form of American ginseng provides greater improvements in fatigue and vitality in patients who receive the highest doses tested, compared to lower doses or no treatment.
The results of their scientifically rigorous pilot study, the first to evaluate the Wisconsin species of American ginseng as a possible therapy for cancer-related fatigue, are being presented June 3 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Many cancer patients face extreme fatigue after diagnosis and during treatment. Getting more sleep or rest often does not relieve the fatigue, nor is it related to activity levels. Other than exercise, there isn't a good solution available for these patients.
Acupuncture for Malignant Pain Problems. J. Filshie, D. Redman (Dept. of Anesthetics, Royal Marsden Hospital, London, England). International Medical Acupuncture Conference, London, England, May 4-8, 1986.
The effect of acupuncture was assessed in 183 patients attending the Pain Clinic in a cancer hospital. Early results were promising with 82% of patients obtaining benefit for hours or days. However, only 52% of patients obtained significant help and multiple treatments were often necessary. Acupuncture was most helpful for vascular problems, muscle spasm and dyaesthetic problems. Acupuncture was significantly helpful for a number of patients with malignant pain problems.
Electroacupuncture Treatment Method for Arm Oedema, Following Surgery for Breast Cancer. C. Moldovan, et al. (Institute of Oncology, Bucharest, Romania). International Medical Acupuncture Conference, London, England, May 4-8, 1986
Upper limb oedema (bloating from retention of water) occurs following surgery for breast cancer in approximately 8-30% of the cases. Existing means have relatively limited efficiency. This study presents a treatment method with electroacupuncture (acupuncture in which weak electrical currents are sent through the needles) on a group of 21 patients with upper limb oedema. Treatment response was based on objective criteria including clinical and thermoelectric measurements.
Complete recovery from oedemas was obtained in 33% of the cases, while partial recovery was seen in 43% of the cases. No response was seen in 24%.
Immunity Reflex State in Cancer patients Treated by Acupuncture Xia Yuqin, et al. Chinese Acupuncture & Moxibustion, Vol. 6, No. 2, April 1986, pp. 17-19. (In Chinese)
Fifty-nine cases with cancer (diagnosed through tissue biopsy) were observed in this group. It was found that the potentiality of cell immunity was lower than in normal persons. Radiation treatment had certain inhibitory functions on body immunity.
It was seen at the same time that acupuncture not only raised body immunity and regulated ERFC close to the normal level, but it could also control the falling of body immunity caused by radiation treatments. Curative Effects Seen in 44 Cases of Radioactive Rectitis
After Treating Cervical Cancer Zhang Zhaohua. Chinese Acupuncture & Moxibustion, Vol. 6, No. 3, June 1986, pp. 18-19. (In Chinese)
Forty-four cases of rectitis (inflammation, pain and bleeding of the rectum) caused by radiation therapy for cancer were treated by acupuncture. Results: 72.3% cases were cured, 9% cases were markedly effective, and 18% cases were improved. Through this patient group it was also observed that acupuncture produces the effects of analgesia and antipyresis, and the reduction of inflammation.
Cancer Chemotherapy with Oriental Medicine (II) Clinical Experiments of Oriental Medicine with Anti-tumor Crude Drugs. A. Sato International Journal of Oriental Medicine 1991;1:34-43
Chinese herbs served to improve symptoms of chemotherapy and prolong life. Characteristics include reduction of side effects caused by chemotherapeutic drugs and radiation therapy (i.e., increases in leukocytes, erythrocytes and thrombocytes), improvement of digestive functions (i.e. improvement of hepatic function) improvement of renal function, reduction of pain, enhancement of immunofunctions, and especially, decreased pain in the terminal stage.
Treatment of Postoperative Advanced Gastric Cancer With Chemotherapy and Anticancer Herbs. Guan-ting Wang, Jia-yu Xu, Ai-mei Zhang, and Xian-yi Wu. International Journal of Oriental Medicine. 1992;4:202-205
Treatment of advanced gastric cancer with combined chemotherapy and anticancer herbs which "support the righteous Qi" (righteous Qi is often translated to Immune System in Western medicine) resulted in a 41.2% survival rate at 3 years and 30.4% at 5 years. The curative effect was significantly higher than for those patients receiving only chemotherapy (26.1% and 15.0%, respectively).