I am also aware of the many serious side effects of cancer drugs which commonly this information is not provided those patients receiving them. This distresses me more when dealing with recombinant pharmaceuticals known as genetically engineered drugs.
What most people who strongly stand behind the use of green tea do not know is that it has the potential to cause pancreatic cancer.
I am sure the FDA has not tested all the possible interactions between drugs and I am also fairly certain that the same goes for herbal products.
Probably a good study would be to show how herbs and other nutritional approaches to cancer do more good than harm. And how they often offer cure, without long term damaging side effects, when pharmaceuticals do not.
Green tea may block activity of common cancer drug
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Some components of green tea may counteract the beneficial effects of a widely used anti-cancer agent called Velcade, also known as bortezomib.
"We know that cancer patients look to green tea extracts among other natural supplements to complement their therapeutic regimens," Dr. Axel Schonthal, said in a statement. "We wanted to better understand how the compounds in green tea interact with a cytotoxic chemical therapy and how that may affect patient outcomes."
In lab studies, Schonthal, from the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, and colleagues evaluated the impact of green tea compounds on the efficacy of bortezomib against multiple myeloma, a blood cancer, and glioblastoma, a malignant brain tumor.
Bortezomib normally fights cancer by inducing tumor cell death. However, Schonthal and colleagues were surprised to find that some of the green tea polyphenols and other components actually prevented bortezomib from killing tumor cells.
"Our surprising results indicate that green tea polyphenols may have the potential to negate the therapeutic efficacy of bortezomib," Schonthal said.
"The current evidence," Schonthal said, "is sufficient enough to strongly urge patients undergoing bortezomib therapy to abstain from consuming green tea products, particularly the widely available, highly concentrated green tea and EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) products that are sold in liquid or capsule form."
The findings of this study, the investigators emphasize, are specific for patients taking bortezomib as opposed to any other common cancer drug.
"Although the study has exposed detrimental effects of great tea in specific combination with Velcade, this should not minimize the previously reported potentially beneficial effect of this herb," Schonthal said. "Related studies with other types of cancer therapies are promising and green tea extract may actually improve the anticancer effects of other drugs."
SOURCE: Blood, online February 3, 2009.