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J Ethnopharmacol. 2012 Apr 10;140(3):614-23. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2012.01.047. Epub 2012 Feb 3.

Old formula, new Rx: the journey of PHY906 as cancer adjuvant therapy.

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  • 1PhytoCeutica Inc., Branford, CT 06405, USA.



PHY906, is a decoction of a mixture of the four herbs Scutellaria baicalensis Geori, Glycyrrhiza uralensis Fisch, Paeonia lactiflora Pall, and Ziziphus jujuba Mill. A combination of these four herbs has been in continuous use in traditional Chinese medicine for over 1800 years for treating a variety of gastrointestinal distress such as diarrhea, cramps, nausea, vomiting etc.


Preclinical and clinical studies to find PHY906 enhances the therapeutic indices of a broad spectrum of anticancer agents.


Using various mouse tumor xenograft and allograft models, PHY906 has been shown to enhance the chemotherapeutic efficacy of a variety of anticancer agents in various cancers. The PHY906 clinical program consists of five trials in three different types of cancers in both the United States and Taiwan. To date, approximately 150 subjects have received PHY906 in combination with chemotherapy in these five clinical studies.


Preclinical studies have shown that PHY906 enhances the therapeutic indices of a broad spectrum of anticancer agents. These findings have been examined in clinical studies for colorectal, liver, and pancreatic cancers when PHY906 is used as an adjuvant to chemotherapy and the results were promising; i.e. PHY906 could reduce chemotherapy-induced toxicities and/or increase chemotherapeutic efficacy. Furthermore, PHY906 did not affect the pharmacokinetics of the chemotherapeutic agents used. Some information has been obtained regarding the mechanism of action of PHY906 in preclinical studies. A comprehensive platform, PhytomicsQC that integrates chemical and biological fingerprints together with a novel biostatistical methodology has been developed to assess the quality of different batches of PHY906.


Over a ten-year period, the multiplex technology "PhytomicsQC" has been used to show batch-to-batch consistency of PHY906 production. Advanced clinical trials are ongoing to demonstrate the effectiveness of PHY906 as adjuvant therapy for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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