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Indian Journal of Medical and Paediatric Oncology
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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 11-18

An ayurvedic herbal compound to reduce toxicity to cancer chemotherapy: A randomized controlled trial

Department of Surgery, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Anurag Srivastava
Department of Surgery, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-5851.51426

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Background: Maharishi Amrit Kalash (MAK) is an ayurvedic compound containing many herbs rich in antioxidants. We evaluated its role in reduction of chemotherapy toxicity among women with breast cancer. Patient and Methods: We recruited 214 patients with breast carcinoma receiving cyclophosphamide, methotrexate and 5- flourouracil (CMF) or cyclophosphamide, adriamycine,& 5-flourouracil (CAF), adjuvant or neo-adjuvant chemotherapy. The toxicity of chemotherapy was assessed according to WHO criteria. Statistical analysis was carried out on Epi-info 6 and STATA-7. All patients received same antiemetic therapy with ondensetron and dexamethasone. Results: There was a significant reduction in toxicities observed in MAK group throughout chemotherapy cycles: Poor performance status was prevented by concomitant administration of MAK along with chemotherapy.(Prevented Fraction (PF)=60.6% (95% confidence interval 22.1 to 80.1 ; p value =0.005 ). Vomiting was prevented by MAK {PF=40.3%, (95% confidence interval 15.1 to 58.1; p value=0.002)}. Similarly anorexia was reduced with PF= 35.6%. (95% confidence interval 17.6 to 49.7, p value = 0.0001) in MAK group. No improvement occurred in stomatitis, diarrhea, alopecia and leucopenia. No overgrowth of tumours occurred in the group treated with Neoadjuvant chemotherapy receiving MAK. Conclusion: MAK may be used as a supplement along with chemotherapeutic drugs for reducing chemotherapy induced vomiting, anorexia and improving general well being of patients.

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