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In 2009, liver cancer and cholangiocarcinoma is the major cause of death among cancer patients in Thailand. Nowadays, the traditional Thai medicine formulary “Benja Amarit” has been prescribed in combine with the standard treatment for palliative care in patients with liver cancer in some public hospitals. The aim of this study was to report the safety and preliminary effect of Benja Amarit recipe in the treatment of liver cancer. This prospective descriptive study was designed to assess the safety and effect of Benja Amarit recipe in patients who have been diagnosed as having liver cancer with clinical evaluations, i.e. CT imaging along with serum AFP or liver biopsy in 5 public hospitals. Baseline characteristics and blood examinations, adverse event using Thai algorithm and quality of life using Thai Modified Function Living Index Cancer Questionnaire Version 2 (T-FLIC 2) were evaluated and reported for 6 months. The survival rate was also observed within 1 year. Ninety-six cases of liver cancer patients with the mean age of 56.36±10.50 years were included. The ECOG Scale of performance status showed that patients were in between fully active and restricting in physically strenuous activity but ambulatory and able to carry out work of a light or sedentary nature. Additionally, the mean serum alpha-fetoprotein was at 92.98+181.91 confirmed the abnormality of the liver function. The capsule of Benja Amarit recipe (300 mg/capsule) was prescribed by Thai traditional medicine practitioner at the dose of 1 - 4 capsules per time twice a day in the morning and evening. Reports revealed that 53.12% of patients were prescribed the regimen containing Benja Amarit recipe and other traditional Thai medicine formulae. Quality of life score using T-FLIC 2 tended to increase every month. However, the results showed that the T-FLIC 2 scores were significantly increased after Benja Amarit recipe has been taken continuously for 2 months (p < 0.05). During 1-year follow-up, the survival rate was at 27.08%. None of serious adverse event was reported. This study reveals that Benja Amarit recipe is safe as well as tends to benefit for patients with liver cancer. However, further clinical trials should be conducted to confirm the effectiveness of this traditional Thai formula.
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