Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) leapt into the international limelight on Monday after research on its effectiveness in treating leukemia was published in the latest Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), one of the world's most-cited multidisciplinary scientific serials.
The research proved that traditional Chinese medicine Huangdai Tablets can help treat leukemia effectively, according to Ruijin Hospital, an affiliate of Shanghai Jiaotong University Medical School.
Huangdai Tablets are a kind of compound prescription made of plant and mineral extracts.
The research was led by Chen Zhu, now minister of health and a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Chen Saijuan, executive director of the Shanghai Institute of Hematology and a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.
"The research is quite interesting and established a good example using the traditional Chinese compatibility medicine to treat patients," said Yung-Chi Cheng, a professor of Yale University School of Medicine, who is the leading expert on biochemical and molecular pharmacology.
Leukemia is a cancer of the blood or bone marrow characterized by an abnormal proliferation (production by multiplication) of blood cells, usually white (leukocytes).
Huangdai Tablets, a kind of traditional compatibility medicine, have long been administered in the treatment of the disease.
Chen Zhu and his colleagues made a thorough investigation into Huangdai Tablets containing active components from realgar, indigo and red sage root in a combination termed RIF.
They analyzed the role of each ingredient and found the effects of RIF were synergistic, with none of the ingredients working as effectively when individually administered.
(China Daily March 12, 2008)