A medical team from India is using medicinal herbs to treat nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy, an Indian medical group has said.
Key points:The team is studying a novel herb, called kaminis, that has been found to be effective for treating nausea and headachesThe herb has also been used to treat severe painThe team from Indian Medical College of Medicine, who have been using the herbal medicine for several months, say they are hopeful it can be used for other conditionsThe team, known as the National Research Team, has been using kamis for several weeks as part of a clinical trial for their drug, called lupronate.
A team of researchers at the Indian Medical and Pharmaceutical Research Institute (IMPU) and the University of California, Berkeley, say their drug has the potential to help patients with cancer, heart disease and other debilitating conditions, including nausea and headache.
“This is a promising drug, which has the ability to be used in many different types of illnesses,” Dr Sanjeev Goyal, the group’s chief executive officer, said in a statement.
“The drug has been studied in many countries and we are hopeful that its potential for use in other illnesses could be further developed,” Dr Goyal added.
Lupronine is a highly-effective anti-nausea drug.
Its use is particularly appealing to patients with chemotherapy, as it has been shown to have significant benefits for patients with severe pain, according to IMPU’s director general.
“We have been studying kamins for a while, but we have never been able to get approval to use them in the Indian market,” Dr Prabhat Kaur, the head of research at IMPU, said.
“Our hope is that by using kams, we can develop kamin as a generic drug that can be easily and inexpensively distributed in India,” Dr Kaur said.
The research team is using kamas as a treatment for cancer and heart disease.
“Many patients have experienced nausea and/or vomiting during chemotherapy or in the last months of their life, so this is a major concern for them,” Dr Bindu Prabhu, a medical scientist at IMUC, said on Thursday.
“There are also other illnesses such as arthritis, diabetes and multiple sclerosis where the medication can be of help, too,” Dr Krishi Patel, the director of the IMUC Cancer Center, said at the same news conference.
The Indian team is also studying the use of kaminas as a supplement to traditional herbal medicine.
“A small group of doctors have been investigating the use and safety of the herbal tea to treat chronic pain, nausea and other chronic conditions,” Dr Patel said.
India is the world’s biggest producer of kams.
“In the last year, we have started testing the effectiveness of kamesha tea and are now studying it to see whether its efficacy can be further extended to other chronic ailments,” Dr Suresh Dhillon, director of IMUC’s Center for Integrative Medicine, said during a recent media briefing.
The team has also started a clinical study of kamas in other ailments, including cancer.
“These trials will be done in the next two to three months,” Dr Dhillone said.
A total of 13 patients are currently enrolled in the study, Dr DHillon said.
It is the first study to use kaminos in cancer patients.
The compound, which is also used to make other products such as antacids, has also proven useful in treating severe pain and pain-related disorders, such as multiple sclerosis.
The researchers said the compound could be made more easily available in India as a pharmaceutical.
“Currently, we are not yet able to manufacture it at a scale that is feasible for pharmaceutical companies,” Dr Jhupendra Kumar, the chief scientific officer of IMPU told Reuters news agency.
“For example, to make kamino in large scale, the pharmaceutical companies are looking for larger quantities of kami,” he said.
The study was funded by the Indian government.
The pharmaceutical company which made kamines and other herbs was recently acquired by China’s Sinopec.