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Ancient Chinese Herbal Recipe Eases Side Effects of Chemotherapy

Posted Aug 19 2010 6:33pm

A combination of Chinese herbs in use for more than 1,800 years reduced the gastrointestinal side effects of chemotherapy in mice, while actually enhancing the effects of the cancer treatment, Yale University researchers report.

The formula used in the experiment consists of four herbs, called PHY906, and is based on a herbal recipe called Huang Qin Tang, used historically to treat nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. The study, published August 18 in the journal Science Translational Medicine, asked whether the use of the formula could reduce gastrointestinal effects of a common chemotherapy drug without affecting its ability to kill cancerous cells.

Video: Yung-Chi “Tommy” Cheng, Henry Bronson professor of pharmacology, co-director of the Yale Cancer Center’s Developmental Therapeutics program and senior author of the paper.

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