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St Johns Wort

An herbal extract prepared from the plant Hypericum perforatum (St. John’s wort) with photodynamic, antineoplastic, and antidepressant activities.

This study in 42 patients (7 with anaplastic astrocytomas and 35 with glioblastomas) who had a diagnosis of recurrent malignant glioma, concluded: the results from this phase 1/2 trial of orally administered, synthetic hypericin in patients with recurrent malignant gliomas indicate that it is well tolerated and exhibits modest efficacy in this patient group.

St Johns Wort

Source: CAM-Cancer
(extracts only)

Scientific name
Hypericum perforatum L. (Guttiferae/Clusiaceae)

Extracts contain naphthodianthrone (=hypericin/pseudohypericin), phloroglycinderivatives (=hyperforin/adhyperforin) flavonoids, tannins, volatile oils, xanthones and many other ingredients. The major known constituents considered to be responsible for the antidepressant activity are hypericin and hyperforin. Extracts to study the anticancer activities have been mostly characterised by these two ingredients.

Mechanism of action
The anti-depressive effects of St. John’s wort seem to rely on the inhibition of the re-uptake of serotonin, noradrenalin, glutamate and dopamine in the central nervous system. Other known mechanisms of action include the modulation of interleukin-6 activity and gamma-aminobutyric acid receptor binding and antioxidant effects. There is preliminary evidence from in-vitro studies to suggest that constituents of St. John’s wort have anti-cancer effects. A range of mechanisms are being discussed, e.g. cytotoxic, apoptosis-inducing and anti-angiogenic effects

St. John’s Wort Compound May Help Brain Tumor Patients

By Deborah Mitchell, EmaxHealth

St. John’s wort is often viewed as a remedy for depression, but a new study finds that a synthetic version of a compound in the herb may help patients who have a type of brain tumor. The compound, hypericin, was studied in patients with recurrent malignant brain tumors.

St. John’s wort ingredient may fight cancer
A largely incurable type of cancer known as malignant glioma is characterized by tumors that develop in the brain or spine. Each year, about 10,000 Americans are diagnosed with malignant glioma, a tumor that tends to grow or infiltrate normal brain tissue, making surgical extraction difficult or impossible.

Previous research has shown that synthetic hypericin can inhibit the growth of gliomas in a laboratory setting. Hypericin appears to inhibit the activity of protein kinase C, enzymes that are known to promote the rapid growth of tumors.

In a new study conducted by a team composed of both American and Canadian scientists, oral doses of synthetic hypericin were given to 42 patients who had either recurrent or progressive malignant gliomas (anaplastic astrocytoma or glioblastoma) that had failed extensive treatment. The doses were gradually increased (range, 0.05 to 0.50 mg/kg) for up to three months if the patients did not experience toxicity.

The patients were examined each month and underwent magnetic resonance imaging at three months to determine the status of their tumor. At three months, 7 patients (17%) showed stabilization or a slight decrease (less than 50%) in tumor volume, while 2 patients (5%) had a greater than 50 percent reduction in tumor volume.

The average one-year survival is about 50 percent for all patients who have malignant glioma. In this study, 17 (40%) of the patients survived for 3 months while taking an average dose of 0.33 mg/kg of synthetic hypericin. Twelve patients continued taking hypericin for more than 3 months, and the median survival for the entire treatment group was 26 weeks.

According to William T. Couldwell, MD, PhD, professor and chairman of neurosurgery at the University of Utah School of Medicine and the study’s lead author, “finding evidence of potential antitumor activity among this very ill population of patients who had failed conventional treatment is a promising sign that hypericin could be useful as an adjunct to the current standard of care.”

Currently, gliomas are treated using a combination of chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. Couldwell noted that adding a component of St. John’s wort to existing treatments for malignant glioma might have “an additive or synergistic effect” and offer another option for these brain tumor patients.

SOURCE: Couldwell WT et al. Cancer 2011; doi: 10.1002/cncr.26123

Incurable brain tumor breakthrough – St. John’s wort compound discovered as promising treatment

Source: Natural News

(NaturalNews) (NaturalNews) Around 10,000 Americans are diagnosed with a malignant glioma every year. And, unfortunately, they received an almost inevitable death sentence. Gliomas, types of tumors which grow in the brain or spine, are virtually incurable and the average one-year survival rate after diagnosis is only about 50 percent.

But now there is finally hope for a new and effective treatment. The therapy? A compound known as hypericin, originally discovered in the herb St. John’s wort.

In findings just published in the journal Cancer, scientists are reporting that synthetic hypericin strongly inhibits the growth of gliomas. The reason appears to be, at least in part, because hypericin inhibits protein kinase C, a family of enzymes that spur on the proliferation of these tumors...continue reading at Natural News

Published Clinical Trials / Studies / Reviews
Topical application of St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum).

Medical Attributes of St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum)

Cancer Treatment Options 

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