American Ginseng for Cancer-Related Fatigue
Name of the Trial
Randomized Study of American Ginseng in Patients With Cancer-Related Fatigue (NCCTG-N03CA). See the protocol summary.
Dr. Brent Bauer, Dr. Charles Loprinzi, Dr. Teresa Rummans, Dr. Tait Shanafelt, Dr. Debra Barton, and Dr. Patricia A. Johnson, North Central Cancer Treatment Group.
Why This Trial Is Important
Fatigue is a frequently debilitating symptom of cancer, as well as a common side effect of cancer treatment. Many cancer patients report experiencing extreme tiredness, exhaustion, and weakness, often severe enough to negatively affect their quality of life. At present, there are no standard approaches for the treatment of fatigue in cancer patients.
In this clinical trial, researchers are testing three different doses of American ginseng to see if it can help alleviate fatigue in cancer patients who experience fatigue related to their disease or treatment. American ginseng is a perennial herb related to the Asian variety of ginseng, which has been used for centuries in complementary and alternative medicines.
"Ginseng has a history of use in traditional medicine that suggests it may lessen the sense of fatigue that cancer patients experience, and some small studies have indicated that ginseng may have some efficacy as a remedy for fatigue," said Dr. Bauer. "Consequently, many cancer patients are using ginseng on their own to combat fatigue. By studying ginseng in a controlled setting, we can better determine whether it has a beneficial effect for patients experiencing fatigue, and, if there is a negative effect, we'll be able to better educate patients about the possible danger."
This trial is no longer recruiting new patients. To locate other clinical trials, search the NCI's database of clinical trials or call the NCI's Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237). The call is toll-free and completely confidential.