Ancient Chinese Medicine Herbal Formula Huanglian Jiedu Decoction as a Neoadjuvant Treatment of Chemotherapy by Improving Diarrhea and Tumor Response

Yau Tuen Chan, Fan Cheung, Cheng Zhang, Bowen Fu, Hor Yue Tan, Hisayoshi Norimoto, Ning Wang, Yibin Feng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Diarrhea is a major gastrointestinal complication in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. Prognosis and treatment of chemotherapy-induced diarrhea (CID) remain unsatisfactory. This study aims to explore the potential of an ancient Chinese Medicine herbal formula Huanglian Jiedu Decoction (HLJDD) as an adjuvant treatment on CID.

Method: HLJDD extract was prepared by GMP manufacturing standard with quality and stability being checked. 5-fluorouracil (5-Fu) and irinotecan (CPT-11)-induced diarrhea model in mice was established and pre-, co- and post-treatment of HLJDD was implemented. Mechanism of action was explored by detecting related protein expression. In addition, the effect of HLJDD on diarrhea and tumor response induced by clinical regimens FOLFOX and FOLFIRI was measured in murine orthotopic colorectal cancer model.

Results: HLJDD exhibited consistency in quality and stability after 24-month storage. Pre-treatment of HLJDD, but not co-treatment or post-treatment, could significantly improve the diarrhea score, body weight loss and intestinal damage in 5-Fu- and CPT-11-treated mice. Pre-treatment of HLJDD reduced cell apoptosis in the intestine of chemotherapy-treated mice, and promoted renewal of intestinal cell wall. CD44 was predicted as the potential target of HLJDD-containing compounds in CID. HLJDD pre-treatment induced presentation of CD44-postive cells in the intestine of chemotherapy-treated mice, and initiated expression of stemness-associated genes. Transcriptional products of the downstream Wnt signaling of CD44 were elevated. Furthermore, pre-treatment of HLJDD could significantly improve the tumor response of clinical chemotherapy regimens FOLFOX and FOLFIRI in orthotopic colorectal cancer, and reduce diarrhea and intestinal damage. Conclusion: Our study suggests the potential of HLJDD as a neoadjuvant treatment of chemotherapy by reducing diarrhea and improving tumor response.

Original languageEnglish
Article number252
Number of pages12
JournalFrontiers in Pharmacology
Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

User-Defined Keywords

  • 5-fluorouracil
  • chemotherapy-induced diarrhea
  • Huanglian Jiedu decoction
  • irinotecan
  • tumor response


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