Non-Organ-Specific Preventive Effect of Long-Term Administration of Korean Red Ginseng Extract on Incidence of Human Cancers

Korea Institute of Cancer Chemoprevention, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
Journal of medicinal food (Impact Factor: 1.63). 06/2010; 13(3):489-94. DOI: 10.1089/jmf.2009.1275
Source: PubMed


Previously, two case-control studies and a cohort study strongly suggested that Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer exerted non-organ-specific preventive effects against cancer. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the effects of red ginseng extract on the incidence of human primary cancer. We conducted a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial on 643 chronic atrophic gastritis patients in four hospitals in Zhejiang Province, China. Red ginseng extract powder (1 g) was administered orally to each patient per week for 3 years and followed up for 8 years. The development of various cancers in the red ginseng subjects was compared to that of a placebo group. The red ginseng extract powder was specified in terms of its components. Twenty-four cancers of various organs were diagnosed from these subjects during the 11 years: eight lung cancers, six stomach cancers, two liver cancers, two colorectal cancers, and one cancer each of the nasopharynx, esophagus, pancreas, urinary bladder, prostate, and gallbladder. The red ginseng group, which included both genders, demonstrated a relative cancer risk of 0.54 (95% confidence interval, 0.23-1.28; P = .13) compared to the placebo group, which was not statistically significant. Among the 24 cancer patients, 21 were male. The male red ginseng group showed a relative cancer risk of 0.35 (95% confidence interval, 0.13-0.96; P = .03) compared to the male placebo group, which was highly significant statistically. In the present clinical trial on chronic atrophic gastritis patients, administration of red ginseng extract powder for 3 years exerted significant preventive effects on the incidence of non-organ-specific human cancers in males.

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    • "Long-term consumption of certain botanicals, such as ginseng, is associated with a reduction in cancer incidence in humans [9,10]. Anticancer potential has been observed with ginseng and its compounds, including the enhancement of 5-fluoruracil’s anti-proliferative effects on human cancer cells [11-13]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Protopanaxadiol (PPD) is a triterpenoid that can be prepared from steamed ginseng. PPD possesses anticancer potential via caspase-dependent apoptosis. Whether paraptosis, a type of the caspase-independent cell death, is also induced by PPD has not been evaluated. Methods Cell death, the cell cycle and intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) were analyzed by flow cytometry after staining with annexin V/PI, PI/RNase or H2DCFDA. We observed morphological changes by crystal violet staining assay. Mitochondrial swelling was measured by ultraviolet–visible spectrophotometry. The activation of NF-κB was measured by luciferase reporter assay. Results At comparable concentrations of 5-fluorouracil, PPD induced more cell death in human colorectal cancer cell lines HCT-116 and SW-480. We demonstrated that PPD induced paraptosis in these cancer cells. PPD treatment significantly increased the percentage of cancer cells with cytoplasmic vacuoles. After the cells were treated with PPD and cycloheximides, cytoplasmic vacuole generation was inhibited. The paraptotic induction effect of PPD was also supported by the results of the mitochondrial swelling assay. PPD induced ROS production in cancer cells, which activated the NF-κB pathway. Blockage of ROS by NAC or PS-1145 inhibited the activation of NF-κB signaling. Conclusions PPD induces colorectal cancer cell death in part by induction of paraptosis. The anticancer activity of PPD may be enhanced by antioxidants such as green tea, which also inhibit the activation of NF-κB signaling.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2013 · BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine
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    • "In a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial on 643 chronic atrophic gastritis patients in China, RGE powder was administered orally to each patient per week for 3 years and followed up for 8 years. The development of different types of cancers in the red ginseng subjects was compared to that of a placebo group and it was seen that administration of RGE powder for 3 years exerted significant preventive effects on the incidence of non-organ-specific human cancers in males (Yun et al., 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: Conventional chemotherapeutic agents are often toxic not only to tumor cells but also to normal cells, limiting their therapeutic use in the clinic. Novel natural product anticancer compounds present an attractive alternative to synthetic compounds, based on their favorable safety and efficacy profiles. Several pre-clinical and clinical studies have demonstrated the anticancer potential of Panax ginseng, a widely used traditional Chinese medicine. The anti-tumor efficacy of ginseng is attributed mainly to the presence of saponins, known as ginsenosides. In this review, we focus on how ginsenosides exert their anticancer effects by modulation of diverse signaling pathways, including regulation of cell proliferation mediators (CDKs and cyclins), growth factors (c-myc, EGFR, and vascular endothelial growth factor), tumor suppressors (p53 and p21), oncogenes (MDM2), cell death mediators (Bcl-2, Bcl-xL, XIAP, caspases, and death receptors), inflammatory response molecules (NF-κB and COX-2), and protein kinases (JNK, Akt, and AMP-activated protein kinase). We also discuss the structure-activity relationship of various ginsenosides and their potentials in the treatment of various human cancers. In summary, recent advances in the discovery and evaluation of ginsenosides as cancer therapeutic agents support further pre-clinical and clinical development of these agents for the treatment of primary and metastatic tumors.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2012 · Frontiers in Pharmacology
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    • "As an important traditional medicinal herb in East Asian countries including Korea, it has been shown to possess beneficial effects on immune function, insulin resistance, cancer, hypertension, neurodegenerative disorders, and stress [21-28]. In particular, the anti-tumor activity of KRG has been extensively examined in a variety of cancer models including an epidemiological study [29], and its protective mechanisms have been reported to include an increase in apoptosis, decrease of cell proliferation and telomerase activity, and inhibition of P-glycoprotein [30-34]. However, little has been done to assess the anti-tumor activity of KRG on MDSCs. "
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    ABSTRACT: Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) actively suppress immune cells and have been considered as an impediment to successful cancer immunotherapy. Many approaches have been made to overcome such immunosuppressive factors and to exert effective anti-tumor effects, but the possibility of using medicinal plants for this purpose has been overlooked. Korean red ginseng (KRG) is widely known to possess a variety of pharmacological properties, including immunoboosting and anti-tumor activities. However, little has been done to assess the anti-tumor activity of KRG on MDSCs. Therefore, we examined the effects of KRG on MDSCs in tumor-bearing mice and evaluated immunostimulatory and anti-tumor activities of KRG through MDSC modulation. The data show that intraperitoneal administration of KRG compromises MDSC function and induces T cell proliferation and the secretion of IL-2 and IFN-γ, while it does not exhibit direct cytotoxicity on tumor cells and reduced MDSC accumulation. MDSCs isolated from KRG-treated mice also express significantly lower levels of inducible nitric oxide synthase and IL-10 accompanied by a decrease in nitric oxide production compared with control. Taken together, the present study demonstrates that KRG enhances T cell function by inhibiting the immunosuppressive activity of MDSCs and suggests that although KRG alone does not exhibit direct anti-tumor effects, the use of KRG together with conventional chemo- or immunotherapy may provide better outcomes to cancer patients through MDSC modulation.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2011 · Journal of ginseng research
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