Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Journal, Vol. 14, No. 4, p. A720, 2000 (Abstract).
A. Srivastava,* A. Samaiya,* V. Taranikanti,* P. Kachroo,* O.H. Coshic,* R. Parshad,* V. Seenu,* S. Chumber,* M.C. Misra,* and H. Sharma.**
**All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India 110029
**The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210 and Title Reducing the Toxic Effects of Chemotherapy: New Research Reports a Significant Decrease in Chemo Toxicity with a Natural, Ayurvedic Herbal Formula
Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, August/September 2000, pp. 134-138. Author John Thill.
This randomized trial was conducted to determine the effect of the herbal mixtures MAK-4 and MAK-5 on reduction of toxic side effects in breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. There were 129 breast cancer patients (124 females and 5 males) involved in the study; 61 patients took MAK-4 and MAK-5 along with chemotherapy and 68 received chemotherapy alone and served as controls. There were two chemotherapy protocols used: cyclophosphamide plus adriamycin plus 5-fluorouracil (33 MAK patients and 32 control patients); and cyclophosphamide plus methotrexate plus 5-fluorouracil (28 MAK patients and 36 control patients). Patients received six cycles of chemotherapy at 28-day intervals and received ondansetron as an anti-emetic agent. Patients were evaluated for toxic side effects per World Health Organization (WHO) criteria. The mean age of the MAK patients and controls was similar: 43 ± 10 for the MAK group and 46 ± 9 for the controls. Results of the study showed improvement in several parameters for patients taking MAK as compared to controls: Karnofsky performance status, anorexia, vomiting, general well-being, and body weight. For the sixth cycle of chemotherapy, 27% more MAK patients had healthy Karnofsky scores, a scale that measures the ability to perform normal day-to-day activities. The overall average was 17.5% higher for MAK patients. For the fourth cycle of chemotherapy, 34% fewer MAK patients experienced loss of appetite (anorexia). The overall average was 26% less for patients taking MAK. For the third cycle of chemotherapy, 29% fewer MAK patients experienced vomiting. The overall average was 22% less for MAK patients. Also in the third cycle, 25% more MAK patients had a ‘good’ status of general well-being, with the overall average being 12% higher for MAK patients compared to controls. There was a statistically insignificant mean weight gain of 0.43 kg in the MAK patients, in comparison to a statistically significant mean weight loss of 1.12 kg in the control patients. Thus, patients on MAK were able to maintain their weight during treatment. Another important finding in this study was that there was no significant difference in tumor regression between the MAK patients and the controls. The MAK group had a statistically insignificant increase in the number of patients with tumor regression. This indicates that MAK does not impede the anti-cancer effects of chemotherapy. Thus, MAK is effective in reducing toxicity of chemotherapy treatment without impairing the anti-cancer effects of the chemotherapy.
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