Garlic for Urinary Bladder Cancer
Reference: Riggs DR, DeHaven JI, Lamm DL. Allium sativum (garlic) treatment for murine transitional cell carcinoma. Cancer 1997; 79:1987-94.
Summary: Four separate experiments were performed in mice using aged garlic extract. In the first, mice had bladder cancer cells implanted and were then given subcutaneous injections of different concentrations of garlic on days 1, 3, 5 and 7 after implantation. The doses of 6.3 mg and 12.5 mg significantly reduced tumor incidence and tumor growth compared to mice treated only with saline. There were no differences between mice treated with BCG vaccination, standard therapy for urinary bladder cancer, and garlic injections. However, up to 40% of the mice died in each group treated with garlic, apparently related to hypersensitivity reactions. Therefore, in experiment two, the number of injections was spaced further apart and reduced to three (administered on days 1, 7 and 14 after tumor implantation). Again the 6.3 and 12.5 mg doses of garlic significantly reduced tumor incidence and volume compared to control mice, though this time BCG more effectively reduced tumor incidence than any dose of garlic. There were still some garlic-related deaths in this experiment.
The third experiment further limited the cumulative dose of injected garlic to try to eliminate mortality from the treatment. Injections were now given on days 1, 7, 14, 21 and 28 after tumor implantation. A cumulative dose of 13 and 25 mg, but not 17.5 mg, of garlic significantly reduced tumor incidence compared to controls. The mice which received 13 mg of garlic had similar survival rates to those treated with BCG; survival rates in both groups were significantly better than controls. The final experiment involved oral, ad libitum administation of garlic beginning one month before tumor implantation and continued 36 days after. There were significant, dosedependent reductions in tumor incidence and growth and improvement in survival in mice treated with garlic compared to those mice given only plain water. The mice given the highest level of garlic, 500 mg/100 mL water, showed the best effects, with 50% of the mice surviving to 36 days postimplantation. No treatment-related death was seen in mice given the garlic orally. The authors state that although it is unlikely to provide a sufficiently high dose of garlic orally to have direct antitumor effects, instillation of garlic preparations into the bladder may prove to be a useful part of the treatment of urinary bladder carcinoma.
Natural Product Research Consultants, Inc.
By E. Yarnell