Objective: To explore the effect of ginsenoside in inducing rectal cancer cell apoptosis.
Methods: Fifty patients of rectal cancer diagnosed by pathological examination were randomly divided into two groups, 35 in the treated group and 15 in the control group. The treated group received retention enema with 84.5% ginsenoside for 4-6 hrs every day, 6-8 days consecutively before surgical operation. The control group also received retention enema in the same way but with normal saline instead of ginsenoside. Fresh sample was taken during the operation and examined by electron microscopy.
Results: Symptoms, such as frequent defecation, hematochezia and tenesmus, were palliated in most patients (25/35) and abdominal pain relieved in all the 7 cases of incomplete intestinal obstruction in the treated group. Electron microscopic examination showed that cell apoptosis was observed in cancer sample of 23 cases among the 35 cases of the treated group, amounting to 65.7%. While in the control group, above-mentioned changes were not observed at all.
Conclusion: Ginsenoside has the effect of inducing apoptosis in rectal cancer patients.