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Medicinal Dietetic Soup Pack Developed by HKU School of Chinese Medicine Shows Initial Success in Ameliorating Chemotherapy Side Effects

14 February 2017

The research team led by Dr Chen Jianping, Associate Professor of School of Chinese Medicine, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong (HKU) develops a medicinal dietetic soup pack for ameliorating chemotherapy side effects.  Preliminary clinical trial and laboratory experiments results show that the soup pack may improve symptoms like chemotherapy-induced alopecia, nail and skin discoloration, and reduced white blood cell.  Meanwhile, it can improve patients’ qualify of life and reduce fatigue without affecting the efficacy of chemotherapeutic drugs.  

According to data from Hong Kong Cancer Registry, Hospital Authority, there has been a 14% rise in the incidence rate of cancer in Hong Kong, from 25,977 cases in 2009 to 29,618 cases in 2014.  World Cancer Report 2014 released by World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that there will be nearly 25 million cancer cases over the next two decades worldwide.  With advances in cancer diagnosis and treatment the survival rate of cancer patients has been increasing, yet the side effects of chemotherapy are obvious and affect the quality of life of patients.

About the medicinal dietetic soup pack

The research team developed the medicinal dietetic soup pack based on the theory “homology of medicine and food”, ancient prescription, and a series of laboratory experiments and clinical trials.  The soup pack is patent pending (application number: 2016102214254).  The researchers hope the dietetic therapy can reduce the side effects of chemotherapy and improve the quality of life of patients.  All ingredients of the soup pack are processed medicinal food, including black soybean, coarse cereals and phycomycetes.  The soup pack is suitable for everyone with different physiques as it is neutral.  Cancer patients who are receiving medical treatment can take the medicinal dietetic soup, without worrying about the interaction between Chinese herbal medicine and chemotherapeutic drugs.  The soup is of sweet taste and it is particularly suitable for cancer patients who are suffering from side effects of chemotherapy.

Research results and significance

The research has started since 2015 and recruited patients of any kind of cancer who have started their first chemotherapy, have been receiving chemotherapy or completed chemotherapy for no more than 2 weeks.  The research team has now recruited 140 cancer patients.  They were assigned to soup pack group or control group, and they are required to take the soup for at least six weeks. 

The mid-term results of 100 participants who completed the clinical trial indicate that the soup could prevent and ameliorate the side effects of chemotherapy.  The soup significantly increases the rate of hair growth, improves nail and skin discoloration, reduces fatigue as well as white blood cells induced by chemotherapy.

Basic experiments show that the soup did not affect the efficacy of chemotherapy drugs.  Meanwhile, it could strengthen the inhibitory effect of doxorubicin on cancer cells and demonstrated a protective effect on normal liver and kidney cells.

“Mid-term results of the research show that the soup pack may ameliorate chemotherapy side effects.  It is convenient, natural, safe to use and does not affect the efficacy of western medical treatment.  It is hoped that the medicinal dietetic soup pack will become a standard treatment for cancer patients.  Through ameliorating the toxicity induced by chemotherapy, the soup pack can improve the patients’ quality of life and thus reduce the rate of not completing the chemotherapy treatment.  It can also reduce the financial burden of patients and significantly improve their quality of life,” says Dr Chen Jianping, Associate Professor of School of Chinese Medicine, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, HKU.

To further verify the safety and effectiveness of the medicinal dietetic soup pack, the School of Chinese Medicine, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, HKU is recruiting another 300 cancer patients to participate in the research project.  Patients who are interested may contact the research team (Tel: 9032 9861/ 3917 6510; Email: youjs88@hku.hk).  For details, please visit the website at http://www.scm.hku.hk/english-lab_intro_page_5_sub_1.html.  

About the research team

The research team was led by Dr Chen Jianping, Associate Professor of School of Chinese Medicine, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, HKU.  Team members include Dr Victor Lee Ho-fun, Clinical Assistant Professor of Department of Clinical Oncology, Dr Wu Jun-mei, Assistant Professor of School of Chinese Medicine, Ms You Jie-shu, PhD student of School of Chinese Medicine, and Ms He Yanhua, Research Assistant of School of Chinese Medicine, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, and Dr Jessie Chan Suet-mui, Post-doctoral Fellow of Department of Social Work and Social Administration, HKU. 

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The research team led by Dr Chen Jianping, Associate Professor of School of Chinese Medicine, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, HKU develops a medicinal dietetic soup pack for ameliorating chemotherapy side effects. 

Dr Chen Jianping (right), Associate Professor of School of Chinese Medicine, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, HKU and breast cancer patient Ms Choi (left).

Based on the theory “homology of medicine and food”, all ingredients of the soup pack are processed medicinal food, including black soybean, coarse cereals and phycomycetes.  It is suitable for everyone with different physiques as it is neutral.

 

Media enquiries

Please contact LKS Faculty of Medicine of The University of Hong Kong by email (medmedia@hku.hk).