Licorice-Root Compound Effective For Preventing Liver Cancer


 What is Hepatitis

 How is it Transmitted

 Long Term Prognosis

 Complications of HCV

 Liver Biopsy

 Treatment Info (Interferon, Herbal, etc)

 Lab Tests (PCR, Genotype,etc.)

 Nutrition & Alternative Info

 Patient Information (Support Groups, Doctor Listing, etc)

 Related Webpages

 Transplant Info

 Site Search

 HCV Webrings

 My guestbookbook

 Site Awards

 FAQ & Disclaimers

Magazine: Hepatitis Weekly; May 19, 1997 Section: World News; Informative Worldwide Briefs Therapy (HCV)

Long-term administration of Stronger Neo-Minophagen C is effective in preventing liver cancer in patients with chronic hepatitis C, according to a study from Japan.

"The reason why Stronger Neo-Minophagen C (SNMC) administration reduces hepatocarcinogenesis is believed to be related to the suppression of the necroinflammatory reaction in the liver and the protection against histologic aggravation," researcher Yasuji Arase and colleagues wrote ("The Long Term Efficacy of Glycyrrhizin in Chronic Hepatitis C Patients," Cancer, April 15, 1997;79(8):1494-1500).

It has been suggested that as many as 80 percent of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients have RNA for the hepatitis C virus (HCV). The yearly incidence of HCC in patients with HCV RNA positive cirrhosis ranges from 5-7 percent in Japan.

In Japan, SNMC has long been used in the form of an intravenous solution, comprised of 0.2 percent Glycyrrhizin (GL), 0.1 percent Cysteine, and 2.0 percent glycine in physiologic solution. Glycyrrhizin is an aqueous extract of licorice root (Glycyrrhizae radix), which is antiallergic and has detoxicating effects.

"As has been reported, the anti-inflammatory mechanism of SNMC is believed to be due to its protective effect on the hepatic cellular membrane, which may explain its ability to lower the serum transaminase level in patients with chronic hepatitis," Arase et al. wrote. "Glycine prevents an aldosteron-like action of GL and Cysteine has been found to be detoxicative as well as antiallergic through Cysteine conjugation in the liver.

"Therefore, SNMC has been developed with the expectation of the joint beneficial effect of these three components."

Arase et al. conducted a retrospective study to evaluate the long-term preventive effect of SNMC on HCC development. Of 453 patients diagnosed with chronic hepatitis C in the study hospital between January 1979 and April 1984, 84 patients (Group A) had been treated with SNMC at a dose of 100 mL daily for eight weeks, followed by two to seven times a week for two to 16 years (median 10 years).

A separate group of 109 patients (Group B) could not be treated with SNMC or interferon for a long period of time (median, 9.2 years) and were given other herbal medicines, such as vitamin K. All patients were monitored retrospectively, and the cumulative incidence of HCC and risk factors for HCC were examined.

Arase et al. found the tenth year rates of cumulative HCC incidence for Groups A and B were 7 percent and 12 percent, respectively, and the 15th-year rates were 12 percent and 25 percent, respectively.

Using Cox regression analysis, the relative risk of HCC incidence in patients not treated with SNMC (Group B) was 2.49 compared with that of patients treated with SNMC. Moreover, in patients treated with SNMC, HCC appearance rates in patients with normal ALT levels was lower than that of patients with abnormal ALT levels.

The authors concluded that normalization of ALT levels by long term administration of SNMC will assist in protecting against hepatocarcinogenesis.

"The reduction in risk of HCC in the SNMC group may be partly due to improvement in the ALT level," they wrote. "Therefore, SNMC therapy is believed to help maintain ALT levels within normal limits."

The corresponding author for this study is Yasuji Arase, Department of Gastroenterology, Tonanomon Hospital, 2-2-2 Toranomon Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan.

Source: Hepatitis Weekly, 05/19/97, p16, 7/8p.

Home | What is HCV | Transmission | Future | Complications | Biopsy | Treatment | Lab | Nutrition | Patient | Links | Transplant | Webrings | guestbookbook | Awards | FAQ |