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Traditional Chinese Medicine- Chemo-induced Cardiomyopathy

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Chemo-induced cardiomyopathy is a serious short, long-term and even late stage side effect of cancer survivors. The purpose of this post is to present an evidence-based non-conventional Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) therapy called Sheng-Mai Yin (SMY).

I developed chemotherapy-induced cardiomyopathy (CIC) in late 2010 fully 15 years after completing the cardiotoxic therapies that caused my heart failure. Since that time I have researched and written about many evidence-based non-conventional therapies.

The challenge that I’ve faced in trying to treat my CIC is that the cardiologists I’ve met with  only promote and prescribe FDA approved medications to manage heart problems. While conventional heart meds can be effective in managing a variety of heart problems, I reacted badly to the first med I tried- metoprolol.

Further, conventional chemotherapies have caused a variety of short, long-term and late stage side effects for me over the years. Therefore,  I resolved to try to manage my chemotherapy-induced cardiomyopathy with non-conventional therapies.

The studies linked and excerpted below cite a therapy called Sheng-Mai Yin (SMY) as an effective therapy to treat chemotherapy-induced cardiomyopathy.  More importantly, SMY is said to be anti-inflammatory. I believe this is central to the issue of CIC because the evidence-based therapies that have managed my own CIC are also anti-inflammatory.

Many chemotherapy regimens cause whole-body inflammation.

The question then, in my mind anyway, is about nutritional supplementation’s ability to quell inflammation. Is SMY, curcumin, cocoa, omega-3 fatty acids, etc. etc. effective at managing chemotherapy-induced cardiomyopathy because they reduce or eliminate whole body inflammation?

I have to believe that whole body inflammation is the culprit in short, long-term and late stage side effects. Anything that cancer survivors can do to manage this side effect allows them to manage their CIC.

To learn more about Traditional Chinese Medicine and Cancer- click now

Have you undergone chemotherapy and/or radiation? Is whole body inflammation causing pain, organ damage, or other side effects? Scroll down the page, post a question or a comment and I will reply to you ASAP.

Thank you,

David Emerson

  • Cancer Survivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

To learn more about traditional Chinese Medicine read the posts linked below-

Prevention of Cardiomyopathy in Patients With Cancer

“The chemotherapy agents most commonly associated with the development of cardiomyopathy are anthracyclines and trastuzumab. The development of cardiomyopathy is clinically significant for two main reasons:

  1. It may limit or preclude potentially life-saving chemotherapy.
  2. Among cancer survivors, progressive chemotherapy-induced cardiomyopathy can lead to significant clinical symptoms and limit life expectancy, independent of oncologic prognosis.

Risk Factors for Cardiotoxicity

Anthracyclines cause a dose-dependent cardiotoxicity that ranges from subtle changes in myocardial strain or biomarkers to overt left ventricular (LV) systolic dysfunction and clinical HF…

Several other agents with putative antioxidant effects including metformin, resveratrol, febuxostat, bioflavinoids, L-carnitine, and alpha-linoleic acid have been shown to be effective in ameliorating the cardiotoxic effects of anthracyclines in animal models.15,41-43Other agents such as ranolazine that limit intracellular calcium influx have also been shown to decrease anthracycline cardiotoxicity in pre-clinical models.44 It is hopeful that ongoing efforts will identify agents that are both cardioprotective and well-tolerated from a hemodynamic standpoint…

Shengmai (a traditional Chinese herbal medicine) for heart failure

“Main results– We included a total of 14 RCTs (858 patients) in this review update, four of which were new trials. Of these 14 RCTs, 11 trials compared Shengmai plus usual treatment with usual treatment alone, and three trials compared Shengmai with placebo. Improvement of NYHA functional classification was more common in patients taking Shengmai plus usual treatment than in those receiving usual treatment alone…

Beneficial effects of Shengmai in treating heart failure were also observed in other outcomes, including exercise test, ejection fraction and cardiac output. The three RCTs (106 patients) comparing Shengmai with placebo reported improvement in NYHA functional classification and in stroke volume. Three of the 14 RCTs reported a total of six patients with mild adverse effects and two were withdrawn due to the adverse effects. The adverse events rate was 1.21%.

Authors’ conclusions- Shengmai may exert a positive effect on heart failure, especially for improving NYHA functional classification when Shengmai plus usual treatment is used. The review results should be interpreted with caution due to the high risk of bias of the included studies (particularly regarding allocation concealment and blinding), the small sample size of these studies, and the significant heterogeneity in outcomes such as ejection function, cardiac output and stroke volume. There was no evidence available concerning the effect of Shengmai on mortality, and more high quality studies with long‐term follow‐up are warranted…”

Protective effect of Sheng-Mai Yin, a traditional Chinese preparation, against doxorubicin-induced cardiac toxicity in rats

“Sheng-Mai Yin (SMY), a modern Chinese formula based on Traditional Chinese Medicine theory, has been used to treat cardiovascular diseases in Eastern Asia. Our study focuses on the cardioprotection of SMY against doxorubicin (DOX)-induced cardiac toxicity in vivo…

Conclusions- SMY may protect heart function through the restriction of myocardial fibrosis induced by DOX, which suggests the potentially therapeutic effect of SMY on DOX-induced cardiomyopathy.

Sheng-Mai Yin exerts anti-inflammatory effects on RAW 264.7 cells and zebrafish

Aim of the study: In this study, we aimed to determine the anti-inflammatory effect of SMY and explore its underlying mechanisms both on RAW 264.7 cells and zebrafish…

Results- SMY reduced the release of IL-6 and TNF-α, inhibited the phosphorylation of IκBα and STAT3 as well as the nuclear translocation of NF-κB p65 in LPS-induced RAW 264.7 cells. Furthermore, the increased survival, decreased infiltration of inflammatory cells and the attenuated migration of neutrophils together suggested the in vivo anti-inflammatory effects of SMY. More importantly, SMY reduced the gene expressions of pro-inflammatory cytokines and suppressed LPS-induced up-regulation of NF-κB, IκBα and STAT3 in zebrafish inflammatory models.

Conclusion- SMY exerts significant anti-inflammatory effects with a potential mechanism of inhibiting the NF-κB and STAT3 signal pathways. Our findings suggest a scientific rationale of SMY to treat inflammatory diseases in clinic…”

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