Ginseng is a well known herbal medicine that has been used for thousands of years. The major medicinal ingredients in ginseng are ginsenosides, a group of triterpene saponins.
Recently, the scope of ginseng usage has been widened by the development of highly concentrated extracts derived from American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolium L.). These extracts allow for the clinical administration of high concentrations of well-defined ginsenoside fractions that could not be achieved using customary herbal preparations.
One of these preparations for oral administration, Careseng, contains very high amounts of Rh2 ginsengosides and protopanaxadiol which have been shown to exert in vitro apoptotic activity against cancer cell lines and in vivo experimental tumor inhibition. Recently, one Rh2 derivate (aPPD) was able to demonstrate effective anti-tumor activity in a variety of human tumor cells.
Panagin Pharmaceuticals Group Inc. has been engaged in the research of Ginseng for more than twenty years, and found the extracted compounds of Ginseng, Dammarane Sapogenins is the main pharmacological active ingredients, furthermore, Panagin developed many formulas and preparations from Dammarane Sapogenins for the treatment of cancer. A variety of clinical trials are now ongoing and have been completed to evaluate the efficacy of Dammarane Sapogenins preparation for cancer.
A human pilot study using an intravenous Ginseng preparation (Pandimex) showed that Ginseng products were well tolerated in human subjects, at doses of 1000 mg iv twice weekly. For patients with advanced solid tumors (lung, gastric, breast and pancreatic) Pandimex was able to induce partial response in 1/10 patients treated with Pandimex alone as well as stable disease in an additional 8/10 patients.
Ginseng derived products may also be helpful in earlier stages of oncogenesis. A trial that evaluated 20 male participants with PSA values of at least 2.0 ng/mL showed that after 4 months of Careseng treatment (800 mg per day) there was a PSA drop of at least 5% in 5/20 subjects (25%), while 8/20 (40%) had their PSA values stabilize and the remainder (35%) saw their PSA values continue to rise. (7)
A clinical study evaluated the efficacy of Pandimex intravenous treatment for middle to late stage primary and metastatic NSCLC. The study regimen consisted of higher doses ranging from 5000 mg to 7000 mg iv. This protocol was administered twice weekly over two 4-week cycles. For primary NSCLC lesions, Pandimex was shown to induce a partial response in 1/11 patients and a stable disease in 8/11 patients. One outcome measurement evaluated the analgesic effects of Pandimex using a numeric grading method. Pandimex demonstrated an analgesic effect lasting between 12 and 57-hours following administration in all patients evaluated.
From 2007, a series of clinical trials sponsored by Panagin have been conducted in Eastern Europe countries: Republic of Georgia, Republic of Armenia and central Asian country Uzbekistan. Part of them has completed, others are still ongoing. Preliminary statistical results demonstrate the efficacy of Dammarane Sapogenins preparation for the therapy of cancer and its complications.