Lung cancer is the most prevalent type of cancers in the world with the highest death rate. The current treatments for lung cancer include chemoradiotherapy, surgery, immunotherapy and targeted therapy, and there is a consensus that compared to a single drug or treatment, combination therapy achieves better therapeutic effects, which can improve the survival of lung cancer patients.
The natural anticancer drug ginsenoside is the most commonly used adjuvant treatment for lung cancer in some Asian countries. Ginsenosides, used as a adjuvant therapy chemotherapy, have enhanced the efficacy of the mainstream cancer treatment including surgery, targeted therapy, immunotherapy.
Ginsenosides are widely used in cancer therapy
Ginsenosides are active components in the ginseng which were found to exhibit anticancer in the 1960s. Scientists have made efforts in finding out the mechanism of action of ginsenosides, and the ginsenoside research transformed from basic science to application. In 2000, ginsenosides were used as an adjuvant therapy in China, and the current most used ones include Rh2, Rg3, Rk2, Rh3, aPPD and Rg5.
Ginsenosides Rh2 and Rg3 are the earliest and the most widely used ones used in cancer treatment. They are the first generation. When people first hear of ginsenosides Rh2 and Rg3, it is often questioned whether they are effective against lung cancer.
Can ginsenoside Rh2 and Rg3 inhibit lung cancer?
Ginsenosides Rh2 and Rg3 indeed can be used as an adjuvant therapy for lung cancer. They have three main benefits:
Firstly, ginsenosides Rh2 and Rg3 themselves have significant anticancer activity. They can inhibit lung cancer in many pathways, including inhibiting the growth and proliferation, inducing apoptosis and suppressing the invasion and metastasis in lung cancer cells, and inhibiting the formation of new blood vessels;
Secondly, ginsenosides Rh2 and Rg3, when combined with other treatment can enhance the toxicity against cancer cells and reduce incurring side effects. Ginsenosides Rh2 and Rg3 can reduce the side effects caused by chemoradiotherapy, surgery, immunotherapy and targeted therapy. They can also reduce tumor drug resistance. For example, ginsenosides Rh2 and Rg3 can inhibit cancer metastasis and recurrence after surgery;
Thirdly, ginsenosides Rh2 and Rg3 can improve patients’ immunity that is beneficial to enhancing their pain tolerance during treatment and inhibiting tumor resistance.
Which ginsenosides are better for treating lung cancer?
There are many kinds of ginsenosides currently used for adjuvant treatment of lung cancer. Which kind of ginsenoside is better? Are ginsenosides Rh2 and Rg3 better ones?
Through the experimental measurement, scientists compared the anticancer activities of some commonly used ginsenosides and the results are as follows:
Rh1 < Rg3 <Rg5≈Rk1< Rh2≈aPPT <Rh3≈Rk2 < aPPD
It can be seen that although ginsenoside Rh2 is widely used, its antitumor activity is not outstanding among ginsenosides like Rk2, Rh3 and aPPD. Ginsenosides Rk2, Rh3 and aPPD, so-called second-ginsenoside ginsenoside, are superior in anticancer activities.
Highly active multicomponent rare ginsenoside supplement
Compared to ginsenosides Rh2 and Rg3, ginsenosides like Rh3, Rk2 and aPPD, are characterized by smaller molecular weight, resulting in better absorption and efficacy. As emerging ginsenosides used as adjuvant therapy in lung cancer treatment, they have shown good performance in recent years.
Meanwhile, scientists found that a combination of several ginsenosides achieves better anticancer effects. When buying rare ginsenoside products, customers should be more cautious to confirm whether rare ginsenosides are the main components. The best rare ginsenoside products on the market are those with multiple highly active rare ginsenosides and high concentrations of active ingredients.