Effect of Red Ginseng on Genotoxicity and Health-Related Quality of Life after Adjuvant Chemotherapy in Patients with Epithelial Ovarian Cancer: A Randomized, Double Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial

Nutrients. 2017 Jul 19;9(7):772. doi: 10.3390/nu9070772.


We evaluated the effect of red ginseng on toxicity, health-related quality of life (HRQL) and survival after adjuvant chemotherapy in patients with epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). A total of 30 patients with EOC were randomly assigned to placebo (n = 15) and red ginseng groups (n = 15). All patients took placebo or red ginseng (3000 mg/day) for three months. Then, we compared changes of genotoxicity, HRQL and survival between the two groups. As a result, red ginseng reduced micronuclei yield in comparison with placebo despite no difference of binucleated cells index. Although red ginseng increased serum levels of alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase significantly, they were within the normal value. Moreover, there were no differences in adverse events between placebo and red ginseng groups. In terms of HRQL, red ginseng was associated with improved emotional functioning and decreased symptoms of fatigue, nausea and vomiting, and dyspnea, reduced anxiety and interference affecting life and improved daytime somnolence. However, there was no effect of red ginseng on prognosis of EOC. Conclusively, red ginseng may be safe and effective to reduce genotoxicity and improve HRQL despite no benefit of survival in patients with EOC who received chemotherapy.

Keywords: chemotherapy; epithelial ovarian cancer; health-related quality of life; red ginseng; toxicity.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alanine Transaminase / blood
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases / blood
  • Body Mass Index
  • Carcinoma, Ovarian Epithelial
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant*
  • DNA Damage / drug effects*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Fatigue / drug therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / drug therapy*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Panax / chemistry*
  • Patient Compliance
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Preparations / pharmacology*
  • Quality of Life


  • Plant Preparations
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases
  • Alanine Transaminase