Study finds soda helps fight cancer

Ther­apy in­volves in­jec­tion as part of liver treat­ment, not drink­ing liq­uid

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By WANG XIAODONG wangx­i­aodong@chi­

A test of a cancer ther­apy by Chi­nese re­searchers based on bak­ing soda — or sodium bi­car­bon­ate — shows prom­ise but is still in the pre­lim­i­nary stages of re­search, and much more test­ing is needed, they said.

The re­searchers made the state­ment af­ter heated dis­cus­sion arose on­line about the re­search, with some ne­ti­zens spec­u­lat­ing that drink­ing sodium bi car­bon­ate dis­solved in wa­ter can cure cancer.

The study, pub­lished in the jour­nal eLife in Au­gust, was led by Hu Xun, a cancer re­searcher at the Sec­ond Af­fil­i­ated Hos­pi­tal of Zhe­jiang Univer­sity’s School of Medicine, and Chao Ming, a ra­di­ol­ogy re­searcher at the hos­pi­tal. All 40 liver cancer pa­tients on whom the ther­apy was tried dur­ing the trial re­sponded pos­i­tively.

An in­fu­sion of soda be­fore a pro­ce­dure to re­strict a tu­mor’s blood sup­ply ap­peared to aid the at­tack on can­cer­ous cells.

The re­search aroused public at­ten­tion over the past few days, with many ne­ti­zens ex­cited be­cause they be­lieved doc­tors had found an ef­fec­tive and cheap way— merely a drink of soda wa­ter — to cure liver cancer, one of the most com­mon types of cancer among Chi­nese peo­ple.

“The re­search is valid, bu­tit is pre­lim­i­nary,” Chao said in a state­ment posted on the hos­pi­tal’s web­site on Mon­day. “Re­peated tests are needed.”

The re­search is valid, but it is pre­lim­i­nary. Re­peated tests are needed.”

Chao Ming, ra­di­ol­ogy re­searcher at the Sec­ond Af­fil­i­ated Hos­pi­tal of Zhe­jiang Univer­sity’s School of Medicine

The ther­apy in­volves in­ject­ing sodium bi­car­bon­ate into the blood ves­sels that sup­ply tu­mors. Pa­tients are not asked to drink it, he said, adding that it is not clear that slightly al­ka­line wa­ter, such as soda wa­ter, is ben­e­fi­cial to the treat­ment of cancer.

In ad­di­tion, the ther­apy only proved ef­fec­tive in pa­tients with liver cancer in the re­search. Fur­ther re­search is needed to see whether it is ef­fec­tive against other cancers, he said.

Zhang Yuewei, a ra­di­ol­o­gist at Bei­jing Ts­inghua Chang-gung Hos­pi­tal who had dis­cussed the re­search ear­lier with Chao, said the new ther­apy isa tan early re­search stage, and the ther­apy is in­tended to im­prove the ef­fec­tive­ness of the usual treat­ment for liver cancer, not to re­place it.

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