The glandular secretions and skin of the common Chinese toad (Bufo bufo gargarizans), found in rice fields, wetlands and ponds across China, may be a potent medicine in treating liver inflammation and preventing liver cancer in patients with hepatitis B-related liver disease.
Extracts from this frog have been used for hundreds of years in traditional Chinese medicine. “One of the most widely used commercial preparation is Huachansu (Cinobufacini), which is a sterilized hot water extract of dried toad skin,” researchers noted in a review of current studies analyzing the effectiveness of toad extracts in treating inflammation and cancer.
“Since 1991, Cinobufacini has been officially approved by the Chinese Food and Drug Administration as a regimen for treating patients with HBV and several types of cancer including liver, lung, colon, and pancreatic cancer,” they wrote. Lab tests show Cinobufacini slowed the growth of lung cancer cells in mice and prolonged their lives. Other clinical trials in China have demonstrated the anticancer effect of Cinobufacini injection in liver and lung cancer patients with response rates of 10% and 16% respectively, and other studies showed higher concentrations of the drug could yield even better results.
Also noteworthy, when Cinobufacini was used in combination with drugs such as chemotherapy or radiation, the drug appeared to lessen those treatment’s toxic side effects while protecting healthy liver tissue and improving outcomes.
The Australian researchers, writing in the March issue of the journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, stressed that additional clinical trials are needed to full identify how the compound works. “… Toad glandular secretion and skin extraction have a real potential as resources for the development of therapeutical agents for preventing or treating human cancers by inducing apoptosis (cancer cell death), sensitizing cancer cells to conventional cancer therapies, or protecting host cells from any side effects,” they wrote.
HBV Journal Review
May 1, 2014, Vol 11, no 5