Immune restoration and/or augmentation of local graft versus host reaction by traditional chinese medicinal herbs

Van Sun, Evan M. Hersh, Moshe Talpaz, Siu‐Leung ‐L Lee, Wendy Wong, Ti Li Loo, Giora M. Mavligit

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The in vitro restorative effect of aqueous extracts from two traditional Chinese medicinal herbs were studied in 19 cancer patients and in 15 normal healthy donors. Using the local graft versus host (GVH) reaction as a test assay for T‐cell function, the extract from astragalus membranaceus (10 μg/ml) induced a restored reaction in nine of ten patients with an increase in local GVH reaction from 18.2 ± 15.8 mm3 to 112.9 ± 94.2 mm3 (P < 0.01). The extract from ligustrum lucidum, likewise effected an immune restoration in nine of 13 cancer patients with an increase in local GVH reaction from 32.3 ± 36.1 mm3 to 118 ± 104.9 mm3 (P < 0.01). This degree of immune restoration appears to be complete as it equals the local GVH reaction observed among untreated mononuclear cells from normal healthy donors (82.8 ± 41.1 mm3, P > 0.1). These results suggest that both extracts of the traditional Chinese medicinal herbs contain potent immune stimulants which may provide the rational basis for their therapeutic use as biological response modifiers. Cancer 52:70‐73, 1983.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)70-73
Number of pages4
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 1983


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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