Green Tea Extract Might Help Blood Cancer Patients

The participants of​ the​ research were 4 victims of​ CLL, the​ most common type of​ blood cancer, who were being given drugs containing green tea extract epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). After a​ certain period of​ time, a​ decrease in​ cancerous cells in​ their bodies was observed. 3 of​ the​ 4 patients expressed improved response to​ treatment and​ one had improved white blood cell count. One patient whose lymph nodes had swollen up decreased in​ size after she started taking green tea pills.

Earlier in​ 2004, the​ same team of​ scientists, led by Dr Tait Shanafelt, had conducted a​ laboratory research of​ the​ influence of​ EGCG on leukemia cells. the​ findings were published in​ a​ 2004 edition of​ the​ journal Blood. it​ had been discovered that the​ green tea extract killed the​ leukemia cells. “The experience of​ these individuals provides some suggestion that our previously published laboratory findings may actually translate into clinical effects for​ patients with the​ disease,” Dr Shanafelt said.

“Green tea has long been thought to​ have cancer-prevention capabilities. it​ is​ exciting that research is​ now demonstrating this agent may provide new hope for​ CLL patients,” Dr Shanafelt added. So far, no cure has been found for​ CLL, a​ progressing malignancy that usually targets people over 55 years of​ age. According to​ Dr Shanafelt, further studies are necessary for​ establishing the​ exact process and​ effect and​ the​ quantity of​ the​ extract that is​ optimum.

“We do not know how many patients were taking similar products and​ failed to​ have any benefit. We also do not yet know the​ optimal dose that should be used, the​ frequency with which patients should take the​ medication, and​ what side effects will be observed with long-term administration,” he said. the​ hematologist is​ now developing an​ EGCG pill for​ the​ US National Cancer Institute to​ find out whether the​ extract could be used to​ treat patients with CLL.

The medical fraternity expressed optimism at​ the​ results of​ the​ study, but felt that it​ might be too early to​ celebrate. “The findings are interesting, but we cannot say yet this is​ a​ new treatment for​ cancer. We need to​ carry out a​ large scale, controlled trial to​ see if​ the​ findings hold true,” said Ken Campbell of​ United Kingdom’s Leukemia Research Fund. Around 7300 Americans are diagnosed with CLL every year, with men being more subject to​ the​ disease than women.

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