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M. D. Anderson examines use of toad venom in cancer treatment
Date:9/24/2009

roved by both institutional review boards. M. D. Anderson and Fudan University Cancer Hospital signed a sister institution agreement in 2003, creating a framework for research, educational and clinical collaboration.

The typical dose of huachansu used in China is approximately 15 milliliters of drug per meter squared of body mass (mL/m2). In the study, 15 patients with stage III or IV hepatocellular (liver) carcinoma, nonsmall cell lung cancer or pancreatic cancer received one of five dose levels ranging from 10 mL/ m2 up to 90 mL/m2 from January 2005 through July 2006. The treatment was repeated daily for 14 days followed by seven days off (one cycle). After two cycles, most patients received other treatments. Quality control methods were put in place to ensure huachansu of a uniform and consistent lot.

While the dose was up to eight times higher than conventional doses used in China, researchers observed only low toxicities or side effects. Eleven (73 percent) patients had no toxicities greater than the lowest grade measured. Importantly, no significant cardiac toxicity was observed and no significant changes in cancer-related symptoms occurred. Of the 15 patients who completed the treatment, six hepatocellular carcinoma patients (40 percent) had stable disease for a median of six months. One patient had a 20 percent reduction in tumor mass that lasted for more than 11 months.

"Even though we saw no complete or partial response (reduction of disease by 30 percent or more) it is encouraging that the cancer did not progress in a large set of the hepatocellular carcinoma patients," says Zhiqiang Meng, principal investigator on the trial and an associate professor and deputy chair of the Department of Integrative Oncology at Fudan University Cancer Hospital, "Previous observations from studies conducted in China have shown that huachansu can inhibit tumor cell growth and improve immunologic function3. These findings, coupled with that kno
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Contact: Lindsay Anderson
lindsay.anderson@gabbe.com
212-220-4444
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert

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