Many hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients in China may be treated with Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Some say it works, others doubt its effectiveness. These stated that a research group in China had found TCM can down-regulate the expression of PTEN in HCC, which may suppress tumor cell growth and regulate tumor cell invasion and metastasis.
A research article published on January 7, 2008 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology (volume 14, issue 1) addresses this problem. The research group imbedded hepatoma carcinoma tissue in the livers of 48 male athymic mice. The mice were distributed randomly into two groups: The chemotherapy group was treated by intragastric administration with FT207 (Tegafur). The TCM group was treated by intragastric administration with FZJDT (complex prescription of Chinese crude drug) that had been deliquated into 3 kinds of density as the low, middle, and high.
Four weeks later, the researchers found the TCM group had distinct superiority in their survival rate compared with the chemotherapy group. There was less tumor metastasis in the livers of the TCM group than in the chemotherapy group. Particularly the results of immunohistochemistry showed the intensity of PTEN (Phosphatase and Tensin Homolog deleted on Chromosome 10) in the TCM group was higher than in the chemotherapy group.
PTEN was recently identified as a tumor suppressor gene by three American research teams. They found PTEN may suppress tumor cell growth and regulate tumor cell invasion and metastasis through inhibiting many signal pathways of cell proliferation.
FZJDT has been widely used to treat HCC for years in The First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University. Just what is the mechanism of the Chinese herbs that strengthens the body's resistance and removes toxic substances? Our research showed TCM could markedly increase expression of PTEN in the athymic mice, compared with the chemotherapy group treated with FT207, indicating the anticancer mechanism of the TCM used in this study.
Mechanisms of TCM healing HCC may partially be explained by the enhancing of the expression of PTEN in the liver. The results of this study suggest a promising future for TCM as a combined therapy to treat HCC in China .
6.1 Reference: Yin LR, Chen ZX, Zhang SJ, Sun BG, Liu YD, Huang HZ. Expression of chromosome ten in liver of athymic mice with hepatocellular carcinoma and the effect of Fuzheng Jiedu Decoction. World J Gastroenterol 2008; 14(1): 108-113
6.2 Correspondence to: Dr. Ze-Xiong Chen, Department of TCM, The First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510080, Guangdong Province, China. firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone: +86-20-87332200-8381 Fax: +86-20-87333122
6.3 About World Journal of Gastroenterology
World Journal of Gastroenterology (WJG), a leading international journal in gastroenterology and hepatology, has established a reputation for publishing first class research on esophageal cancer, gastric cancer, liver cancer, viral hepatitis, colorectal cancer, and H pylori infection and provides a forum for both clinicians and scientists. WJG has been indexed and abstracted in Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, Science Citation Index Expanded (also known as SciSearch) and Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition, Index Medicus, MEDLINE and PubMed, Chemical Abstracts, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, Abstracts Journals, Nature Clinical Practice Gastroenterology and Hepatology, CAB Abstracts and Global Health. ISI JCR 2003-2000 IF: 3.318, 2.532, 1.445 and 0.993. WJG is a weekly journal published by WJG Press. The publication dates are the 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th day of every month. The WJG is supported by The National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 30224801 and No. 30424812, and was founded with the name of China National Journal of New Gastroenterology on October 1, 1995, and renamed WJG on January 25, 1998.
6.4 About The WJG Press
The WJG Press mainly publishes World Journal of Gastroenterology.