Results from a small, open, prospective study of subjects with advanced gastric cancer suggests that intravenous administration of a polysaccharide fraction isolated from E. purpurea may be effective in reducing chemotherapy-induced leucopenia (Melchart et al 2002). Test subjects had advanced gastric cancer and were undergoing palliative chemotherapy with etoposide, leucovorin and 5-fluorouracil. The median number of leukocytes 14-16 days after chemotherapy was 3630/microL (range 1470-5770) in the patients receiving herbal treatment compared with 2370/microL (870-3950) in the patients of the historical control group (P = 0.01 5).
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