New Research Finds Supplement May Boost HIPEC Treatment, According to Surviving Mesothelioma

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Could the supplement quercetin eventually be used to improve the effectiveness of peritoneal mesothelioma treatment? A new study in mice suggests that it might.

Quercetin significantly increases the antitumour activity of HIPEC...

A new animal study conducted in Croatia and detailed on Surviving Mesothelioma appears to show that the flavonoid quercetin, found in fruits, vegetables and grains, may make the heated chemotherapy treatment known as HIPEC more effective while protecting healthy cells against toxicity.

HIPEC is a common treatment for peritoneal mesothelioma, a rare but aggressive cancer that occurs in the lining of the abdomen. It involves rinsing a heated solution of chemotherapy drugs through the abdominal cavity after cytoreductive surgery. HIPEC has been shown to offer a survival advantage in people with this rare but aggressive cancer.

The new study on quercetin and HIPEC used mice with a type of cancer called Ehrlich ascites tumor. The mice received 50 mg/kg of body weight of quercetin along with either 5 or 10 mg/kg of cisplatin, a popular chemotherapy drug for mesothelioma and other cancers. Treatment was administered under both normal and heated (HIPEC) conditions.

Under normal conditions, mice that received quercetin along with their 5 mg/kg cisplatin dose had a 2.8-fold increase in survival. The survival increase was slightly less (2.6-fold) among the mice that got 10 mg/kg of cisplatin. When heat was added, the expected lifespan of the mice increased 3.5 times. Just as importantly, the quercetin appeared to help protect healthy cells against the DNA-damaging effects of cisplatin, which are the primary cause of chemotherapy side effects in mesothelioma and other cancers.

“Quercetin significantly increases the antitumour activity of HIPEC and the survival rate of mice with Ehrlich ascites tumor,” the authors conclude. They add that quercetin’s ability to stimulate the cancer-killing power of the immune system is “an important factor” in the tumor-inhibiting effect of HIPEC.

It is too early to know whether the results will be translatable into the clinical treatment of cancers such as peritoneal mesothelioma, but the results are encouraging. Mesothelioma patients should never attempt to self-treat and should consult with their doctor before starting on any supplement. The original study appears in the journal Mutation Research. (Orsolic, N & Car, N, “Quercetin enhances the effect of hyperthermal intraperitoneal chemotherapy with cisplatin in mice”, September 20, 2013, Mutation Research, Epub ahead of print,

For nearly ten years, Surviving Mesothelioma has brought readers the most important and ground-breaking news on the causes, diagnosis and treatment of mesothelioma. All Surviving Mesothelioma news is gathered and reported directly from the peer-reviewed medical literature. Written for patients and their loved ones, Surviving Mesothelioma news helps families make more informed decisions.

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Michael Ellis
Cancer Monthy
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