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Green Tea Extract Shown Effective In Slowing Progression Of Leukemia

June 4, 2010: 11:31 AM EST
A phase II U.S. clinical trial involving 42 early-stage patients suffering from chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) found that a nontoxic extract of green tea significantly reduced the number of leukemia cells. According to the researchers, the major component of green tea, a chemical known as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), apparently stabilizes and slows the progression of the disease with only mild side effects. Sixty-nine percent of CLL patients had a biological response to EGCG: either a 20 percent or greater reduction in blood lymphocyte count or a 50 percent or greater reduction in lymph node size. “These studies advance the notion that nutraceuticals like EGCG can and should be studied as cancer preventives,” says one researcher, who also cautioned that EGCG is not a substitute for chemotherapy.
Tait Shanafelt, M.D., Neil Kay, M.D., et al., "Phase II trial of daily, oral green tea extract in patients with asymptomatic, Rai stage 0-II chronic lymphocytic leukemia", Presentation, annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, June 04, 2010, © American Society of Clinical Oncology
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