Traditional Chinese Medicine Helps Reduce Side Effects of Cancer Treatment: Study

Help for cancer patients suffering side effects of radiation therapy appears after researchers at the University of Adelaide found that a combination of traditional Chinese herbs reduced the severity of radiation-induced gastrointestinal mucositis (GIM). You may be

GIM can cause inflammation, abdominal pain, bloating, ulcers, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. There is currently no effective treatment for this condition, but this study outlines the potential benefits of the herbs ‘Kushen’ and ‘Baituring’. who became GIM after he underwent radiation therapy to treat stomach, abdomen and pelvic cancers.

“Although it has only been tested in rats, the results of this study are very positive as it indicates that it may be able to provide treatment to people suffering from mucositis as a result of cancer treatment. “Professor David L. Adelson, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Adelaide, is also Director of the Zhendong Australia – China Center for Molecular Traditional Chinese Medicine.

“This is very important because mucositis limits the amount of treatment that cancer patients can receive and greatly impacts their quality of life.”

In this study, approved by the Institutional Animal Ethics Committee and published in the peer-reviewed journal Frontiers in Oncology, rat abdomens were exposed to radiation.

Half the rats received a liquid formulation of cushen and Baituring, the ‘combined cushen injection’ (CKI), and the other half received a control substance.

“In this study, we found that rats given a CKI in the abdomen had less severe GIM symptoms compared to rats given a control substance,” said Adelson. . “These findings build on previous studies that showed that CKIs have profound effects on gene expression in cell lines, including genes that regulate inflammation.”

Epoch Times photo
Chinese herb Kushen. (Freer/Adobe Stock)

Previous University of Adelaide CKI Studies

CKIs have been used to treat cancer tumors in China for some time, mainly as an adjunct to chemotherapy, but until 2016 their function was unknown.

A University of Adelaide study published that year and led by Adelson characterized the molecular actions of a combination of herbs.

At the time, Adelson said most traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) was based on hundreds and sometimes thousands of years of experience, and there was a lot of evidence of therapeutic benefit, but how it worked. There is no modern scientific understanding of how

“When we break down and test the components of many traditional Chinese medicines, we find that the individual compounds are not very active on their own. What we mean is a combination of compounds,” he said.

“This is one of the first studies to demonstrate the molecular mechanisms of action of a complex mixture of plant-based compounds by applying what is known as a systems biology approach, in this case 2 It is extracted from the roots of two medicinal herbs, Kushen and Baituling.

“It’s a way of analyzing complex biological systems that tries to take into account all measurable aspects of the system rather than focusing on a single variable,” he added. .

Epoch Times photo
Professor David L. Adelson, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Adelaide. (Provided by the University of Adelaide)

Researchers used state-of-the-art sequencing technology to identify genes and biological pathways targeted by CKI when applied to breast cancer cells in the laboratory.

Adelson said the study shows that CKIs affect the same pathways as chemotherapy, but act on different genes in those pathways.

“These genes regulate the cell cycle of division and death. CKIs appear to alter the way the cell cycle is regulated, pushing cancer cells down the cell death pathway and killing the cells.”

In connection with the recent finding that CKI mitigates the side effects of radiation therapy in rats, a spokesperson for the University of Adelaide told the Epoch Times that there are no firm plans to conduct human trials at this time.