Green tea - new lung cancer trial underway

A new study is underway to discover whether green tea can help fight lung cancer.

Researchers will administer capsules containing green tea compound. Each capsule is the equivalent of 3 cups of tea. The trial aims to establish whether the compound can make an existing cancer drug, Tarveca, more effective.

Tarveca is given to patients who have failed to respond favourably to radiation therapy. But most do not respond well to Tarveca either. In fact, only 10% of patients taking Tarveca show any improvement.

Scientists in Shreveport, LA, USA, say that laboratory data indicates that green tea makes cancerous cells more sensitive to the drug. They have been studying the effects of green tea for the last 4 years and hope that this new study will lead the way to improving treatment for lung cancer.

But they stress that prevention is better than cure. "The vast majority of cancer is caused by smoking. If you smoke, give up", said James Cardelli, one of the scientists involved.