Phase I/II study of PHY906/capecitabine in advanced hepatocellular carcinoma.
ABSTRACT PHY906 is a Chinese medicine formula with claims for the treatment of severe gastrointestinal distress. PHY906 enhanced the therapeutic index of various chemotherapeutic agents in human hepatocellular carcinoma xenografts. Accordingly, here a phase I/II clinical study was conducted with the combination of capecitabine in patients with advanced, unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma. More than 60% of patients had either stable disease or better after two treatment cycles. Median overall survival was 9.2 months. Asian patients had a higher median overall survival (16.5 months) than non-Asian patients (6.2 months, p=0.03). Patients' quality of life did not deteriorate significantly during treatment. This finding supported further investigation of PHY906 as an adjuvant therapy of capecitabine in a larger hepatocellular cancer population.
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ABSTRACT: Medicinal herbs and their derivative phytocompounds are being increasingly recognized as useful complementary treatments for cancer. A large volume of clinical studies have reported the beneficial effects of herbal medicines on the survival, immune modulation, and quality of life (QOL) of cancer patients, when these herbal medicines are used in combination with conventional therapeutics. Here, we briefly review some examples of clinical studies that investigated the use of herbal medicines for various cancers and the development of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in this emerging research area. In addition, we also report recent studies on the biochemical and cellular mechanisms of herbal medicines in specific tumor microenvironments and the potential application of specific phytochemicals in cell-based cancer vaccine systems. This review should provide useful technological support for evidence-based application of herbal medicines in cancer therapy.Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 07/2013; 2013:302426. DOI:10.1155/2013/302426 · 2.18 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Preclinical studies showed a Chinese botanical formula, PHY906, has synergistic anti-tumor activity with capecitabine. Our phase I study determined maximal tolerated dose of capecitabine 1,500 mg/m(2) BID day 1-7 and PHY906 800 mg BID day 1-4 every 2 weeks. We conducted this phase II study to explore the efficacy of capecitabine and PHY906 in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer who were previously treated with gemcitabine-based regimens. Patients with pancreatic cancer and an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0-2 received PHY906 and capecitabine. Toxicity was assessed per NCI-CTCAE v3.0 and response per response evaluation criteria in solid tumors q 6 weeks. Correlative studies of cytokines, chemokines and growth factors were tested using a cytometric bead array. Quality of life was assessed by utilizing Edmonton symptom assessment system. The primary objective was overall survival. The study enrolled 25 patients. Median progression-free survival (mPFS) was 10.1 weeks (range 0.4-54.1) and median overall survival (mOS) was 21.6 weeks (range 0.4-84.1). Eighteen patients received at least 2 cycles, and achieved mPFS of 12.3 weeks and mOS of 28 weeks. Six-month survival rate was 44 % (11/25). Unsupervised clustering of patients grouped those with shortened survival together by their cytokine profile showed that only IL-6 had a significant difference (p < .001) between short- and long-term survivors. Capecitabine plus PHY906 provides a safe and feasible salvage therapy after gemcitabine failure for APC. Role of IL-6 in tumor progression and tumor cachexia needs to be investigated with respect to its relation to pathophysiology of pancreatic cancer and development of anti-IL-6 therapeutics.Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology 12/2013; DOI:10.1007/s00280-013-2359-7 · 2.57 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Research on herbal medicinal products is increasingly published in "Western" scientific journals dedicated primarily to conventional medicines. Publications are concerned mainly not only on the issues of safety and interactions, but also on efficacy. In reviews, a recurring complaint has been a lack of quality studies. In this opinion article, we present the case of Chinese herbal medicines as an example, as they have been extensively used in the global market and increasingly studied worldwide. We analyze the potential reasons for problems and propose some ways forward. As in the case of any drug, clinical trials for safety, efficacy, and/or effectiveness are the ultimate demonstration of therapeutic usefulness of herbal products. These will only make scientific sense when the tested herbal products are authentic, standardized, and quality controlled, if good practice guidelines of evidence-based medicine are followed, and if relevant controls and outcome measures are scientifically defined. Herbal products are complex mixtures, and for such complexity, an obvious approach for mechanistic studies is network pharmacology based on omic tools and approaches, which has already begun to revolutionize the study of conventional drugs, emphasizing networks, interactions, and polypharmacological features behind the action of many drugs.01/2014; 4(1). DOI:10.4103/2225‑4110.124323