Dietary and Herbal Therapy for Brain Cancer
Name of the Trial
Why This Trial Is Important
Resin from the Boswellia serrata tree (frankincense) has been shown in animal and human studies to reduce inflammation, which is a primary cause of brain edema. Additionally, laboratory studies suggest that B. serrata resin may also cause human brain cancer cells to undergo programmed cell death (apoptosis).
In this trial, patients will be randomly assigned to take an herbal preparation of B. serrata orally four times a day and eat a low-fat vegan diet for 6 months or to eat a normal low-fat diet for 6 months. Vegan diets lack arachidonic acid, a chemical found in meat that is converted in the brain to signaling molecules called eicosanoids that may promote inflammation and tumor growth. Doctors want to see if B. serrata and a vegan diet can help reduce brain edema, tumor growth, and levels of 5-lipoxygenase, an enzyme that helps convert arachidonic acid to eicosanoids, in these patients.
"Some small studies have suggested that frankincense extract may help limit brain edema and even have an anti-tumor effect," said Dr. Stevens. "We hope that dietary changes in conjunction with use of this herbal preparation will help improve patient outcomes and act in a complementary fashion with standard treatments for high-grade gliomas."
Who Can Join This Trial
Study Site and Contact Information
An archive of "Featured Clinical Trial" columns is available at http://cancer.gov/clinicaltrials/ft-all-featured-trials.