Effect of saffron on liver metastases in patients suffering from cancers with liver metastases: A randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial

Avicenna J Phytomed. Sep-Oct 2015;5(5):434-40.


Objective: Cancer represents the second cause of mortality in the world. Saffron as a medicinal plant is known for its anti-cancer and anti-depressant properties. In this randomized double blind clinical trial, the effects of saffron on response to treatment in patients suffering from liver metastasis were evaluated.

Materials and methods: Thirteen patients suffering from liver metastases who referred to Ghaem and Imam Reza hospital, Mashhad, Iran were included in this study and then divided into two different groups. Both groups received chemotherapy regimen. Patients in group one were treated with saffron capsule (50 mg, twice daily) during chemotherapy periods whereas patients in group two received placebo. A sum of the longest diameter were calculated and compared for all lesions in IV contrast CT scan before and after the treatment.

Results: from 13 patients included in this study, six patients quit and seven continued until the end. In saffron-treated group, two patients showed partial and complete response (50%) whereas in placebo group, no response was seen. Also, two deaths in placebo and one in saffron group occurred.

Conclusion: This research suggests that saffron might be useful in patients suffering from liver metastasis. However, further investigations with larger sample size are required.

Keywords: Cancer; Liver Metastases; Saffron.