TCM formula protects the lungs after chemotherapy

Bleomycin, a drug often used to treat cancer, is also associated with lung damage in patients. A study published in the journal Chinese Herbal Medicines revealed that Shenge Yangfei Capsules (SGYF), an herbal formula used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), can help prevent pulmonary fibrosis that occurs due to cancer treatment. The researchers studied the effects of the formula on rat models.

  • This study is the first of its kind to observe the antifibrotic effects of SGYF on bleomycin-induced lung injury and fibrosis in rats.
  • For the study, researchers divided the rats into six random groups: the saline control group, model group (which was administered five milligrams (mg) of bleomycin per kilogram (kg) of the rats’ body weight), positive control group (which was given five mg/kg of Dexamethasone), and the three SGYF groups (dosages of 70, 420, and 850 milligrams were given for each kilogram of the rats’ body weight per day [?mg/kg/d]).
  • The researchers then took note of the effects of SGYF on the rat models’ body weight and lung index.
  • For the histological evaluation of lung injury and fibrosis in the subjects, lung specimens were stained with hematoxylin and eosin (HE) and Masson trichrome.
  • The body weight and lung index of the six random groups were also assessed, along with the concentrations of monoamine (MAO) and transforming growth factor-beta 1(TGF-beta 1) in lung homogenates.
  • The study findings showed that SGYF reduced bleomycin-induced weight loss and the lung index of the rats. Meanwhile, histological evidence confirmed that SGYF helped reduce lung fibrosis and consolidation due to the use of bleomycin. SGYF also reduced MAO and TGF-beta 1 activity in lung tissue.

The researchers concluded that SGYF can potentially be used to prevent lung damage or other interstitial lesions in patients with cancer who take bleomycin.

Read more articles about other studies on remedies derived from traditional Chinese medicine at

Journal Reference: 

Jia H, Wang ZJ, Wu Q, Xu ZR, Zhang JY, Ma HD, Zhao QC. ANTIFIBROSIS EFFECTS OF SHENGE YANGFEI CAPSULES ON BLEOMYCIN-INDUCED PULMONARY FIBROSIS IN RATS. Chinese Herbal Medicines. 2018;10(4):411–415. DOI: 10.1016/j.chmed.2018.07.007

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