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Uncaria tomentosa stimulates the proliferation of myeloid progenitor cells

Ethnopharmacological relevance: The Asháninkas, indigenous people of Peru, use cat’s claw (Uncaria tomentosa) to restore health. Uncaria tomentosa has antioxidant activity and works as an agent to repair DNA damage. It causes different effects on cell proliferation depending on the cell type involved; specifically, it can stimulate the proliferation of myeloid progenitors and cause apoptosis of neoplastic cells. Neutropenia is the most common collateral effect of chemotherapy. For patients undergoing cancer treatment, the administration of a drug that stimulates the proliferation of healthy hematopoietic tissue cells is very desirable. 

It is important to assess the acute effects of Uncaria tomentosa on granulocyte-macrophage colonyforming cells (CFU-GM) and in the recovery of neutrophils after chemotherapy-induced neutropenia, by establishing the correlation with filgrastim (rhG-CSF) treatment to evaluate its possible use in clinical oncology.