Effect of Nigella sativa seed administration on prevention of febrile neutropenia during chemotherapy among children with brain tumors

Childs Nerv Syst. 2017 May;33(5):793-800. doi: 10.1007/s00381-017-3372-7. Epub 2017 Mar 27.

Abstract

Purpose: Seeds of Nigella sativa (NS) are used to combat various disease conditions through their antibacterial effects. To evaluate the seeds' potential, we studied their effect on the prevention of febrile neutropenia (FN) in children with brain tumors.

Methods: A randomized pretest-post-test control group study including 80 children (2-18 years) with brain tumors undergoing chemotherapy were equally allocated into two groups. Intervention group received 5 g of NS seeds daily throughout treatment while controls received nothing. CBC with differentials, incidence of FN, and LOS were noted on each follow-up.

Results: The majority of children 38/40 (95%), of the intervention group, took the seeds for 3-9 consecutive months. Eight out of 372 (2.2%) FN episodes were experienced by children of intervention group compared to controls 63/327 (19.3%) (p = 0.001) and a shorter LOS (median = 2.5 days) vs 5 days in the control group (p = 0.006). Children in both groups belonged to almost same geographical area with similar socio-economic background. Weights of children were almost equal at diagnosis.

Conclusion: NS seeds showed a decrease in incidence of FN in children with brain tumors with shortening of subsequent LOS which may improve their outcome and thereby quality of life. Larger scale studies are needed to further evaluate the seeds' potential.

Keywords: Black seed; Febrile neutropenia; Nigella sativa; Nutrition; Pediatric brain tumors; Pediatric oncology.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Brain Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Febrile Neutropenia / diagnosis
  • Febrile Neutropenia / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nigella sativa*
  • Seeds*
  • Treatment Outcome

Substances

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Antineoplastic Agents