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Green tea extract fights chronic lymphocytic leukemia

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Taking green tea supplements may help stabilize early-stage chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), a phase II trial published in the May 2010 supplement issue of the American Society of Clinical Oncology suggests. 

It has been demonstrated in vitro tests and a phase I trial that green tea extract containing high amounts of epigallocatechin 3 gallate (EGCG) may be used to help chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients, according to the background information in the study report. 

For the current study, T.D. Shanafelt and colleagues from Mayo Clinic Rochester, MN and Mayo Clinic Arizona in Scottsdale, AZ enlisted 42 untreated patients with asymptomatic, Rai stage 0-II CLL and a minimum absolute lymphocyte count (ALC) 10 x109/L and gave them twice a day a supplement called Polyphenon E with 2,000 mg of EGCG per dose for a period of six months. 

The researchers found one patient experienced partial remission, 31 percent of participants experienced and sustained a more than 20 percent reduction in absolute lymphocyte count and 66 percent with palpable adenopathy experienced at least a 50 percent reduction in the sum of the products of all nodal areas during the treatment. 

Shanafelt et al concluded "Daily oral EGCG in the Polyphenon E preparation was well tolerated by CLL patients in this phase II trial. Declines in ALC and/or lymphadenopathy were observed in the majority of patients. EGCG containing green tea extracts may have potential as disease stabilizing agents in patients with early-stage CL." 

Source: http://meeting.ascopubs.org/cgi/content/abstract/28/15_suppl/6522

By David Liu and editing by Rachel Stockton

Photo credit: AICR


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