Green Tea Compound Shows Promise for Leukemia

At the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology held in Chicago, researchers from the Mayo Clinic reported results from a Phase II trial which provide additional evidence of clinical activity and low toxicity for epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG, extracted from green tea) in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients.*

Hematologist Tait Shanafelt, MD and colleagues gave 2,000 milligrams EGCG to patients with early stage, asymptomatic CLL. The extract was administered twice per day for up to 6 months. Among subjects who completed 6 months of EGCG, 31% experienced a 20% or greater reduction in blood leukemia count, and 69% of those with lymph node enlargement had their node size reduced by at least half.

“All in all, the treatment was well tolerated with very mild side effects in most patients,” Dr. Shanafelt commented.

Editor’s note: Coauthor Neil Kay, MD recommends that “Those who want to take supplements should consult with their oncologists and need to receive appropriate monitoring using laboratory tests.”

—Dayna Dye


* Annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.


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