Chinese herb found to prevent relapse of pre-colorectal cancer condition

Cai Wenjun
According to local doctors, a substance contained in the herb berberine can stave off relapse of colorectal adenoma, a common condition related to colorectal cancer.
Cai Wenjun

Local medical experts have found that a component in a common Chinese herb has effects in preventing the relapse of a pre-colorectal cancer condition, Renji Hospital announced on Thursday.

Berberine hydrochloride, from the herb berberine, was found to have the effects. The discovery was published by Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology.

Colorectal cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers in the world and its incidence is rising. Over 90 percent of colorectal cancer stems from colorectal adenoma, a condition found among 30 to 40 percent of people over 50 years old.

Colorectal adenoma can be removed via colonoscopy, however, the rate of relapse is 30 percent after one year and 50 percent after three years.

Current medicines to control colorectal adenoma are either expensive or produce too many side effects, say experts.

Dr Fang Jingyuan from Renji Hospital teamed up with experts from six medical centers in China to carry out the research, which found that berberine hydrochloride can effectively reduce the risk of relapse of colorectal adenoma. The substance is also safe for medical use, which offers a new option for chemical prevention after adenoma removal.

Chinese herb found to prevent relapse of pre-colorectal cancer condition
Ti Gong

Dr Fang Jingyuan (center) instructs his students in the lab.

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