Green tea, curcumin, bromelain, turkey tail mushroom, garlic, milk thistle, quercetin and other herbal products are used by naturopathic physicians to prevent recurrence of cancer after patients have undergone primary cancer treatment. However, RCTs are not available that report on the effect of these botanicals on prevention of cancer recurrence, except for turkey tail mushroom extract. Postoperative administration of PSK (a fraction from turkey tail extract) as adjuvant chemotherapy has been shown to improve disease free survival in patients with lung, esophageal and gastric cancer.
Because of the paucity of publications in this field, we recommend that you refer your patients to see a naturopathic physician who has advanced training in oncology to advise on which botanicals are best for the patient.
References - Hide References
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- Ikeda T, Sakai T, Suito T, Kosaki G. [Evaluation of postoperative immunochemotherapy in lung cancer] Gan To Kagaku Ryoho. 1986 Apr;13(4 Pt 1):1044-9. Japanese.
- Ogoshi K, Satou H, Isono K, Mitomi T, Endoh M, Sugita M. Immunotherapy for esophageal cancer. A randomized trial in combination with radiotherapy and radiochemotherapy. Cooperative Study Group for Esophageal Cancer in Japan. Am J Clin Oncol. 1995 Jun;18(3):216-22.
- Saji S, Sakamoto J, Teramukai S, Kunieda K, Sugiyama Y, Ohashi Y, Nakazato H. Impact of splenectomy and immunochemotherapy on survival following gastrectomy for carcinoma: covariate interaction with immunosuppressive acidic protein, a serum marker for the host immune system. Tumor Marker Committee for the Study Group of Immunochemotherapy with PSK for Gastric Cancer. Surg Today. 1999;29(6):504-10.
- Ueda Y, Fujimura T, Kinami S, Hirono Y, Yamaguchi A, Naitoh H, Tani T, Kaji M, Yamagishi H, Miwa K; Hokuriku-Kinki Immunochemo-Therapy Study Group-Gastric Cancer (HKIT-GC). A randomized phase III trial of postoperative adjuvant therapy with S-1 alone versus S-1 plus PSK for stage II/IIIA gastric cancer: Hokuriku-Kinki Immunochemo-Therapy Study Group-Gastric Cancer (HKIT-GC). Jpn J Clin Oncol. 2006 Aug;36(8):519-22. Epub 2006 Jun 27.