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Liver Cancer cell growth inhibited by extract of fungi of Huaier (EFH).

This article is about an effective alternative treatment for liver cancer backed up by scientific results. Of course, cancer and Hepatitis C are both serious illnesses and you should consult a doctor.

This article centers on a Chinese traditional medicinal herb, Huaier Granule,
of which the active ingredient is extract of fungi of Huaier, namely EFH.

This study was conducted on human cancer cells implanted into rabbits. Three groups were studied, a control group, a TACE group (standard chemo treatment for liver cancer) and a TACE plus EFH group. I wonder why no just EFH group?

It was concluded that EFH could suppress not only the growth of HCC (liver cancer) cells but also tumor angiogenesis (angiogenesis is required for the spread of a tumor), and it can induce the apoptosis (or death) of HCC cells.

As exciting as these results sound, it is necessary to remember that EFH not been tested further yet for liver cancer in actual humans so dosages and side effects are unknown. Look for more on EFH to treat liver cancer in the future.

J Huazhong Univ Sci Technolog Med Sci. 2009 Apr;29(2):198-201. Epub 2009 Apr 28. Inhibitory effect of extract of fungi of Huaier on hepatocellular carcinoma cells. Ren J, Zheng C, Feng G, Liang H, Xia X, Fang J, Duan X, Zhao H.

Department of Radiology, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, 430022, China

The inhibitory effect of the extract of fungi of Huaier (EFH) on the growth of hepatocellular carcinoma HCC cells.

This study investigated the inhibitory effect of the extract of fungi of Huaier (EFH) on the growth of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells.

Hep-G2 cells, a human HCC cell line, were cultured in DMEM containing 10% fetal bovine serum and treated with EFH of different concentrations (1, 2, 4, 8 mg/mL) for 24, 48 and 72 h respectively. The apoptosis rate of the cells was flow cytometrically measured.

Thirty-six tumor-bearing New Zealand rabbits were randomly divided into 3 groups: group A (control group), in which the rabbits were infused with 0.2 mL/kg normal saline via the hepatic artery; group B (transhepatic artery chemoembolization [TACE] group), in which the rabbits were given lipiodol at 0.2 mL/kg plus MMC at 0.5 mg/kg via the hepatic artery; group C (TACE + EFH group ), in which EFH (500 mg/kg) were orally administered after TACE.

Two weeks after TACE, the rabbits were sacrificed and the implanted tumors were sampled. The tumor volume and the necrosis rate were determined. The tumor tissues were immunohistochemically detected for the expressions of factor VIII, VEGF, P53, Bax and Bcl-2. The microvessel density (MVD) was calculated by counting the factor VIII-positive endothelial cells.

Our results showed that after treatment with EFH, the apoptosis rate of Hep-G2 cells was enhanced in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. Two weeks after the treatment, the average tumor volume, the necrosis rate and the growth rate of the implanted tumor in group C were significantly different from those in groups A and B (P<0.05). MVD and VEGF expressions were significantly decreased in the group C when compared with those in groups B (P<0.05 for all). The Bax expression was weakest in group A and strongest in group C. The expressions of P53 and Bcl-2 were minimal in group C and maximal in group A. There were significant differences in the expressions of P53, Bax and Bcl-2 among the 3 groups (P<0.05 for all) and there was significant difference between group B and group C (P<0.05).

It was concluded that EFH could suppress not only the growth of HCC cells but also tumor angiogenesis and it can induce the apoptosis of HCC cells. EFH serves as an alternative for the treatment of HCC.

PMID: 19399404