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Breast Cancer treatment details. Alternative. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minneapolis, United States

Survival: ?
Toxicity Grade: 3
Treatments: Alternative
Country: United States
City/State/Province: Rochester, Minneapolis
Hospital: Mayo Clinic
Journal: Link
Date: 7/2005

Patients: This study involved 83 patients with colorectal or breast cancer. Over half of the patients were 50-59 years old. Most of the patients (90%) had prior chemotherapy, and only 30-35% had prior radiotherapy. The patients were randomly divided into two groups. Group A had 8 women with breast cancer, and 34 patients with colorectal cancer (17 men, 17 women). Group B had 8 women with breast cancer, and 33 patients with colorectal cancer (19 men, 14 women).

Treatment: The treatment for Group A involved shark cartilage with "standard care." Group B was given a placebo along with "standard care."

Toxicity: In Group A, grade 3 toxicities included: neutropenia, dyspnea, diarrhea, leukopenia, and bone pain. One Group B patient had developed a Grade 4 urethral obstruction. Other Grade 3 toxicities included: fatigue, neurotoxicity, and rectal bleeding. The authors concluded that, " None of the differences between arms concerning the percentage of patients experiencing toxicity were clinically or statistically significant."

Results: The authors reported that the overall survival for Group A was not significantly different versus Group B (placebo). The authors concluded that in this group of patients, shark cartilage showed no therapeutic benefit. However, by one month approximately 50% of the patients remained on study and by six months only 10% of patients remained on the shark cartilage.

Correspondence: Charles L. Loprinzi, M.D.

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