An active ingredient of green tea has been found effective in treating leukemia patients, according to researchers.
The study led by Mayo Clinic researchers has shown that patients could fairly tolerate high doses of the chemical epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), derived from the green tea.
"We found not only that patients tolerated the green tea extract at very high doses (in capsule form), but many of them saw regression to some degree of their chronic lymphocytic leukemia," said Dr Tait Shanafelt, Mayo Clinic hematologist and lead author of the study.
"The majority of individuals who entered the study with enlarged lymph nodes saw a 50 percent or greater decline in their lymph node size," Shanafelt added.
The researchers hope that EGCG can stabilize CLL for early stage patients or perhaps improve the effectiveness of treatment when combined with other therapies.
After the success of the first trial, researchers have moved to the second phase of clinical testing. involving roughly the same number of patients. All will receive the highest dose administered from the previous trial.
The findings appear online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.