Combining traditional forms of Chinese and Western medicine could lead to new treatments for liver, lung, colorectal cancers, and osteosarcoma of the bones, a new study shows.
“Traditional Chinese medicine where compounds are extracted from natural products or herbs has been practiced for centuries in China, Korea, Japan, and other countries in Asia,” says Wen Jiang, professor in the School of Medicine, who is the director of the Cardiff University-Peking University Joint Cancer Institute.
“Although a few successes, most of the traditional remedies are short of scientific explanation which has inevitably led to skepticism—especially amongst traditionalists in the West. As a result, we set out to test the success of a Chinese medicine and then consider how combining it alongside traditional methods like chemotherapy could result in positive outcome for patients.”
Yangzheng Xiaoji is a traditional Chinese formula consisting of 14 herbs. The formula has been shown to be beneficial to cancer patients—however, until now researchers haven’t understood how it works.
Since 2012 researchers have investigated the formula and have discovered that it blocks a pathway which stops the spread of cancer cells in the body.
“The formula has been shown to be beneficial to patients with certain solid tumors, when used alone and in conventional therapies, such as chemotherapy. It suggests that combining the formula with conventional as well as new therapies could hold the key to developing new treatments for cancer patients,” says Jiang.
“We are already looking to clinical trials in treatment of lung and other cancer types.”
The study, funded by Cancer Research Wales and the Albert Hung Foundation, was presented at the European Cancer Congress 2013 in Amsterdam and published in the journal Oncology Reports.
Source: Cardiff University