Combating leukaemia with green tea

New studies found that for leukaemia patients, green tea could prove to be life-saver. When given high dose of a green tea to leukaemia patients, a significant improvement had seen, including a 50 % reduction in the size of lymph glands. Scientists hope that the ingredients in green tea may increase the survival chance of leukaemia patients with an aggressive form of disease.

Tests have shown that green tea extract can combat cancer. Preliminary results now suggest that the chemical could have the same effect on patients suffering from chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL). The treatment reduced the number of lymphocytes in one in three patients. Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) is most common type of cancer found in UK affecting around 2, 350 patients every year.

About half the patients with early stage disease have an aggressive form of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) that leads to early death. Researchers gave 33 patients between 400 and 2,000 milligrams of the extract twice a day. Many cases of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) progress slowly, and often treatment involves an early stage of "watchful waiting" before patients are given strong treatments.

“We found not only that patients tolerated the green tea extract at very high doses, but that many of them saw regression to some degree of their chronic lymphocytic leukaemia,” said Dr Tait Shanafelt, from the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. The majority of individuals who entered the study with enlarged lymph nodes saw a 50 % or greater decline in their lymph node size.

It is hoped that the green tea extract may prevent rapid progression of the disease in lukaemia patients & improve the effectiveness of treatment when combined with other therapies. It should also be noted that it would not be possible to achieve these levels by drinking green tea - the study was carried out using a concentrated form of an active ingredient from green tea.


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