Beetroot-Carrot Juice Intake either Alone or in Combination with Antileukemic Drug ‘Chlorambucil’ As A Potential Treatment for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

Open Access Maced J Med Sci. 2015 Jun 15; 3(2): 331–336.
Published online 2015 Jun 2. doi: 10.3889/oamjms.2015.056
PMCID: PMC4877878
PMID: 27275246

Beetroot-Carrot Juice Intake either Alone or in Combination with Antileukemic Drug ‘Chlorambucil’ As A Potential Treatment for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Abstract

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is one of the chronic lymphoproliferative disorders (lymphoid neoplasms). It is characterized by a progressive accumulation of functionally incompetent lymphocytes. Patients with leukemia often seek unconventional treatments not prescribed by hematologist in order to improve their cancer treatment outcome or to manage symptoms. In the present report, a 76-year-old patient was diagnosed with B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL). Beetroot-carrot juice is used as a complementary and or/alternative therapy used in conjunction with conventional leukemic treatment (chlorambucil) that has been a standard first-line chemotherapeutic agent for patients with CLL and known to have serious and undesirable side-effects. After one month and 15 days of administration of beetroot-carrot juice therapy, the patient had improved appetite, a sense of general well-being and increased vigor daily activities. Furthermore, beetroot-carrot juice was used as an adjuvant to chlorambucil resulted in a substantial reduction in leukocytes and lymphocytes count in peripheral blood and improvement in the relevant biochemical parameters. Beetroot-carrot juice can be used as an effective treatment for CLL alone or in combination with chlorambucil when taken orally with regular diet on daily basis.

Keywords: Chronic lymphocytic leukemia, beetroot-carrot juice, chlorambucil drug, leukocytes and lymphocytes count

Introduction

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is an indolent lymphoproliferative disorder. It was largely considered to be a disease of slow progression and chlorambucil drug has been the standard treatment for many decades [1]. Most of the anti-cancer drugs currently used in chemotherapy can have serious and undesirable side-effects and may cause toxicity to normal cells. Efforts were made to develop effective alternative strategies that increase the therapeutic efficacy and minimize the systemic toxicity of the conventional chemotherapeutic agents [2]. Thus, natural treatments could support existing chemotherapy agents’ treatment of leukemia, if their use could reduce side effects without compromising efficacy. Promising natural sources of such new agents could be found in common foods which contain bioactive compounds with potential anticancer properties [3]. The beetroot (Beta vulgaris L.), locally known as Shamandar, is a vegetable plant and belongs to family Amaranthaceae. Studies that focused on anticancer activities of beetroot extract, in animal models, have unraveled their potential benefits as chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic agents. Studies by Dr. Sandor (Alexander) Ferenczi (Nobel Prize winner) was pioneered of the use of beetroot juice as a cancer therapy in the nineteenth century and studied its strong anti-tumor effect as it contains a tumor inhibiting substance that he attributes to its natural red coloring agent, betaine [4]. Beetroot has many remarkable therapeutic uses as anticancer, hemostatic, antioxidative, antiradical, anti-inflammatory and renal protective properties. In traditional medicine, carrots (Daucus carota) have been used as treatments for leukaemia and other cancers throughout history [5] and have previously been studied in other contexts as potential sources of anticancer agents [6].

In the current study we present a case report of CLL treated with a blend of beetroot- carrot juice either alone or in combination with antileukemic drug ‘Chlorambucil’.

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