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Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
Green Tea Studies


(CLL) Chronic lymphocytic leukemia green tea research from the Mayo Clinic

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic presented their findings using EGCG from green tea with CLL patients at the June 2010 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Positive results from a phase I trial in 2009 allowed their research to continue to phase II with more patients.

Leukemia improved

Both trials showed a sustained reduction in the blood leukemia count of 20% or more for about one third of the participants.

Both trials also showed more than 50% reduction in lymph node size for up to 69% of the patients.

Dr. Shanafelt of the Mayo Clinic says "All in all, the treatment was well tolerated with very mild side effects in most patients."

CLL clinical trials

Researchers caution that they cannot make a recommendation until a phase III trial, and that CLL patients should consult their doctors for monitoring and personalized lifestyle recommendations.

This disease shows wide variations in progression, ranging from rapid progression to some people who live for decades without treatment.

Scientists at the Mayo Clinic continue to work to identify biomarkers, risks, and individualized treatment programs that will address these variations in CLL.

CLL Phase II 2012 results

In July, 2012, Dr. Shanafelt reported on the Mayo Clinic's Phase II study for chronic lymphocytic leukemia and standardized EGCG.

This phase of the study followed 42 CLL patients.

69% of these patients had Rai stage I to II disease.

The patients were given two doses of 2000 mgs. Polyphenon E (green tea catechins including EGCG) daily for up to 6 months.

Side effects were limited to 3 patients, one with fatigue, one with abdominal pain, and one with transaminitis.

Patients showed

  • sustained reduction of absolute lymphocytic count equal to or greater than 20% for 31% (13) patients, and

  • 69% of those with palpable lymphadenopathy showed at least a 50% reduction in the lymph node areas.

Overall, the conclusions of this study showed that the procedure was well-tolerated and the majority of patients showed a durable improvement statistically correlated with their blood levels of EGCG from green tea (Shanafelt TD, Phase 2 trial of daily, oral polyphenon E in patients with asymptomatic, Rai stage 0 to II chronic lymphocytic leukemia, Cancer, July 2012).

CLL statistics

CLL is diagnosed in over 245,000 Americans with over 4000 deaths annually (Leukemia Lymphoma Society, 2009).

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This page last updated by Sharon Jones.

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