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Evidence-Based Review of BioBran/ MGN-3 Arabinoxylan Compound as a Complementary Therapy for Conventional Cancer Treatment

  • Soo Liang Ooi, MMath, BHSc (Comp Med) , Debbie McMullen, BHSc (Comp Med), Terry Golombick, PhD, Dipl Nut , and Sok Cheon Pak, PhD
  • 2017

Introduction: Conventional cancer treatment, including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy, may not be sufficient to eradicate all malignant cells and prevent recurrence. Intensive treatment often leads to a depressed immune system, drug resistance, and toxicity, hampering the treatment outcomes. BioBran/MGN-3 Arabinoxylan is a standardized arabinoxylan concentrate which has been proposed as a plant-based immunomodulator that can restore the tumor-induced disturbance of the natural immune system, including natural killer cell activity to fight cancer, complementing conventional therapies. Objectives: To comprehensively review the available evidence on the effects and efficacies of MGN-3 as a complementary therapy for conventional cancer treatment. Methods: Systematic search of journal databases and gray literature for primary studies reporting the effects of MGN-3 on cancer and cancer treatment. Results: Thirty full-text articles and 2 conference abstracts were included in this review. MGN-3 has been shown to possess immunomodulating anticancer effects and can work synergistically with chemotherapeutic agents, in vitro. In murine models, MGN-3 has been shown to act against carcinogenic agents, and inhibit tumor growth, either by itself or in combination with other anticancer compounds. Fourteen successful MGN-3 treated clinical cases were found. Eleven clinical studies, including 5 nonrandomized, pre-post intervention studies and 6 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were located. Reported effects include enhanced immunoprofile, reduced side effects, improved treatment outcomes; one RCT established significantly increased survival rates. There are no reports on adverse events on MGN-3. Most of the clinical trials are small studies with short duration. Conclusion: There is sufficient evidence suggesting MGN-3 to be an effective immunomodulator that can complement conventional cancer treatment. However, more well-designed RCTs on MGN-3 are needed to strengthen the evidence base.

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