Rikkunshito, a traditional Japanese medicine, suppresses cisplatin-induced anorexia in humans
Tetsuro Ohno, Mitsuhiro Yanai, Hiroyuki Ando, Yoshitaka Toyomasu, Atsushi Ogawa, Hiroki Morita, Kyoichi Ogata, Erito Mochiki, Takayuki Asao, Hiroyuki Kuwano
Department of General Surgical Science, Gunma University Graduate School of Medicine, Maebashi, Japan
Background: The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of Rikkunshito on ghrelin secretion and on cisplatin-induced anorexia in humans.
Methods: The study was performed as a crossover design, and ten unresectable or relapsed gastric cancer patients were randomly divided into two groups. Group A (n = 5) was started on Rikkunshito (2.5 g three times daily, orally) from the first course of chemotherapy and followed by a second course without Rikkunshito. A treatment with reversed order was performed for Group B (n = 5). All patients received combined chemotherapy with S-1 plus cisplatin. The primary endpoint was the amount of oral intake, and the categories of scales of anorexia, nausea, and vomiting; secondary endpoints included the plasma concentration of acylated ghrelin.
Results: In the Rikkunshito-on period, no decrease of the plasma concentration of acylated ghrelin induced by cisplatin was observed. The average oral intake in the Rikkunshito-on period was significantly larger than that in the Rikkunshito-off period, and the grade of anorexia was significantly lower in the Rikkunshito-on period than in the Rikkunshito-off period.
Conclusion: Rikkunshito appeared to prevent anorexia induced by cisplatin, resulting in effective prophylactic administration of chemotherapy with cisplatin, and patients could continue their treatments on schedule.
Keywords: Rikkunshito, cisplatin, ghrelin, anorexia, stomach cancer