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      Herbal medicines for the treatment of cancer chemotherapy-induced side effects

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          Accumulating evidence suggests that Japanese herbal medicines, called Kampo, have beneficial effects on cancer chemotherapy-induced side effects. Rikkunshito ameliorates cisplatin-induced anorexia through an antagonistic effect on the 5-HT receptors and by increasing the serum ghrelin levels. Hangeshashinto improves irinotecan-induced diarrhea and chemotherapy-induced mucositis by inhibiting the activity of β-glucuronidase as well as the synthesis of prostaglandin E2. Goshajinkigan prevents oxaliplatin-induced neurotoxicity, possibly through suppressing functional alterations of the transient receptor potential channels. In this review, we will summarize the currently available literature regarding the clinical efficacy and potential mechanisms of Kampo medicines in the treatment of cancer chemotherapy-induced side effects.

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          Most cited references 61

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          Prevention and management of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy in survivors of adult cancers: American Society of Clinical Oncology clinical practice guideline.

          To provide evidence-based guidance on the optimum prevention and treatment approaches in the management of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathies (CIPN) in adult cancer survivors. A systematic literature search identified relevant, randomized controlled trials (RCTs) for the treatment of CIPN. Primary outcomes included incidence and severity of neuropathy as measured by neurophysiologic changes, patient-reported outcomes, and quality of life. A total of 48 RCTs met eligibility criteria and comprise the evidentiary basis for the recommendations. Trials tended to be small and heterogeneous, many with insufficient sample sizes to detect clinically important differences in outcomes. Primary outcomes varied across the trials, and in most cases, studies were not directly comparable because of different outcomes, measurements, and instruments used at different time points. The strength of the recommendations is based on the quality, amount, and consistency of the evidence and the balance between benefits and harms. On the basis of the paucity of high-quality, consistent evidence, there are no agents recommended for the prevention of CIPN. With regard to the treatment of existing CIPN, the best available data support a moderate recommendation for treatment with duloxetine. Although the CIPN trials are inconclusive regarding tricyclic antidepressants (such as nortriptyline), gabapentin, and a compounded topical gel containing baclofen, amitriptyline HCL, and ketamine, these agents may be offered on the basis of data supporting their utility in other neuropathic pain conditions given the limited other CIPN treatment options. Further research on these agents is warranted. © 2014 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.
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            A receptor in pituitary and hypothalamus that functions in growth hormone release.

            Small synthetic molecules termed growth hormone secretagogues (GHSs) act on the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus to stimulate and amplify pulsatile growth hormone (GH) release. A heterotrimeric GTP-binding protein (G protein)-coupled receptor (GPC-R) of the pituitary and arcuate ventro-medial and infundibular hypothalamus of swine and humans was cloned and was shown to be the target of the GHSs. On the basis of its pharmacological and molecular characterization, this GPC-R defines a neuroendocrine pathway for the control of pulsatile GH release and supports the notion that the GHSs mimic an undiscovered hormone.
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              Capecitabine plus oxaliplatin compared with fluorouracil and folinic acid as adjuvant therapy for stage III colon cancer.

              This multicenter, randomized trial compared capecitabine plus oxaliplatin (XELOX) with bolus fluorouracil (FU) and folinic acid (FA) as adjuvant therapy for patients with stage III colon cancer. Patients who had undergone curative resection were randomly assigned to XELOX (oxaliplatin 130 mg/m(2) on day 1 plus capecitabine 1,000 mg/m(2) twice daily on days 1 to 14 every 3 weeks for 24 weeks) or a standard bolus FU/FA adjuvant regimen (Mayo Clinic for 24 weeks or Roswell Park for 32 weeks). The primary study end point was disease-free survival (DFS). The intention-to-treat population comprised 1,886 patients; 944 patients were randomly assigned to XELOX and 942 to FU/FA (Mayo Clinic, n = 664; Roswell Park, n = 278). After 57 months of follow-up for the primary analysis, 295 patients (31.3%) in the XELOX group had relapsed, developed a new primary colon cancer, or died compared with 353 patients (37.5%) in the FU/FA group (hazard ratio [HR] for DFS, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.69 to 0.93; P = .0045). The 3-year DFS rate was 70.9% with XELOX and 66.5% with FU/FA. The HR for overall survival (OS) for XELOX compared to FU/FA was 0.87 (95% CI, 0.72 to 1.05; P = .1486). The 5-year OS for XELOX and FU/FA were 77.6% and 74.2%, respectively. Follow-up is ongoing. Preplanned multivariate and subgroup analyses supported the robustness of these findings. The addition of oxaliplatin to capecitabine improves DFS in patients with stage III colon cancer. XELOX is an additional adjuvant treatment option for these patients.

                Author and article information

                Front Pharmacol
                Front Pharmacol
                Front. Pharmacol.
                Frontiers in Pharmacology
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                10 February 2015
                : 6
                1Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine , Sapporo, Japan
                2Pathophysiology and Therapeutics, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Hokkaido University , Sapporo, Japan
                Author notes

                Edited by: Akio Inui, Kagoshima University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Japan

                Reviewed by: He-Hui Xie, Second Military Medical University, China; Liren Qian, Navy General Hospital, China

                *Correspondence: Hiroshi Takeda, Pathophysiology and Therapeutics, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Hokkaido University, N12, W6, Kita-ku, Sapporo 060-0812, Japan e-mail: h_takeda@ 123456pharm.hokudai.ac.jp

                This article was submitted to Ethnopharmacology, a section of the journal Frontiers in Pharmacology.

                Copyright © 2015 Ohnishi and Takeda.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

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                Figures: 0, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 67, Pages: 5, Words: 4541
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