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Phase II Pilot Clinical Study of the Use of Uncaria tomentosa (Cat’s Claw) Combined with Paullinia cupana (Guarana) for the Treatment of Symptoms in Terminal Cancer Patients

Previous studies in patients with advanced cancer have reported that Cat’s claw dry extract (Uncaria tomentosa) and Guarana (Paullinia cupana) showed beneficial effects in patients with terminal cancer. Our objective is to investigate the combined action of these extracts in the control of symptoms in these patients. This prospective, uncontrolled pilot study evaluated the use of 100 mg of U. tomentosa dry extract three times daily combined with 50 mg of P. cupana dry extract twice daily in terminal patients with solid tumors who were ineligible for traditional therapeutic approaches. Patients had blood collected and answered questionnaires (EORTC QLQ-C30, FACIT-F, Chalder Fatigue Scale, HADS and PSQI-BR)before and after 3 and 6 weeks of treatment. Twenty-two volunteers were recruited; the mean age of the population was 68.3 years (range, 49-89 years), 86.3% were men, and half had a Karnofsky Index less than or equal to 60%. We observed improvement in fatigue, measured by the Chalder Scale (p = 0.0041), and nausea, measured by the EORTCQLQ-C30 scale (p = 0.0470), without significant weight loss (p = 0.3883) or influence on quality of life as measured by the FACIT-F questionnaire (p = 0.3375). Medications were well tolerated by most participants. No significant reduction in inflammatory parameters was observed during the treatment. The combination of U. tomentosa and P. cupana extracts is safe and has potential benefits for the control of fatigue and nausea in terminal cancer patients.