Objective: To investigate the clinical effects and security of YiSuiShengXueGranule (YSSXG) on treating 156 patients with beta-thalassemia major.
Methods: YSSXG was given orally to 156 patients with beta-thalassemia in GuangXi Autonomous Region (the high incidence area of beta-thalassemia in China) for 3 months as one therapeutic course, 3 times a day, 10 g each time (for children, the dose should be reduced properly according to their body weight and age), and no blood transfusion used during the course. Clinical symptoms and levels of hemoglobin (Hb), red blood cell (RBC), reticulocyte (Ret) and hemoglobin F (HbF) were observed before and after treatment, and side-effects were observed during the course. A 3-6 months follow up study was performed after withdrawal of YSSXG. And systemic gene analysis was conducted with PCR, SSCP-PCR, RT-PCR and DNA sequences analysis and mRNA differently expression technique, in order to study the molecular mechanism from the relationships between genetic mutation and clinical efficacy, gene expression and its regulation.
Results: Levels of Hb, RBC, Ret and HbF obviously elevated, and clinical symptoms markedly ameliorated in patients after treated with YSSXG from the 1st to 3rd month (all p<0.01). Dynamical observation showed that the improvement of symptoms kept accordance with the elevation of hemorrheological indexes. The treatment was effective in 145 patients and ineffective in 11, and the total effective rate was 92.9%, without any adverse reaction founded. Follow-up studies showed the therapeutic effect could sustain for 3 to 4 months after drug-withdrawal. The molecular mechanism study showed: YSSXG did not change the genetic mutation type, but could obviously increase gamma/(beta+gamma) globin ratio, both gamma-globin mRNA and GM-CSF mRNA expression were significantly enhanced so as to induce HbF synthesis increasing after treated with YSSXG.
Conclusion: YSSXG had obvious effects in treating beta-thalassemia by unlocking gamma-gene, increasing the gamma-globin expression and enhancing HbF synthesis so as to compensate for the gene defect. This study has provided a new path for the treatment of beta-thalassemia with Traditional Chinese Medicine.