Xihuang Pills, a Traditional Chinese Preparation used as a Complementary Medicine to Treat Cancer: An Updated Review
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KeyWord:Anticancer drugs, cancer therapy, natural products, traditional Chinese medicine
Christian Baillya a.OncoWitan, Lille Wasquehal 59290, France
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      The traditional Chinese medicine, Xihuang pills (XHP), has long been used for the management of cancers, both to limit tumor cells proliferation and dissemination, and to protect nontumor cells from damages induced by conventional therapeutic agents. XHP is made from two plant extracts (from Boswellia carteri and Commiphora myrrha) and two animal‑derived products (from Moschus moschiferus and Calculus bovis). Recent advances into the mechanism of action of XHP and its clinical efficacy are reviewed here to highlight its potential to treat breast and colon cancers in particular. The immunoregulatory effects of XHP are underlined. Similar traditional medicinal preparations containing Boswellia and Commiphora are discussed, as well as the activities of the major natural products found in XHP including abietic acid, acetyl‑keto‑boswellic acid, and muscone. Pharmacological and clinical studies of XHP and similar medicinal preparations, such as the Korean medicine HangAmDan‑B, are encouraged.