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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 203168, 8 pages
Research Article

Impact of Standardized Allergen-Removed Rhus verniciflua Stokes Extract on Advanced Adenocarcinoma of the Ampulla of Vater: A Case Series

1Department of Medical Consilence, Graduate School, Jukjeon Campus, Dankook University, 152 Jukjeon-ro, Suji-gu, Yongin-si 448-701, Republic of Korea
2Department of Clinical Oncology, Integrative Cancer Center, Kyung Hee University Hospital at Gangdong, Seoul, Republic of Korea
3Department of Hematology and Oncology, Kyung Hee University Hospital at Gangdong, Seoul, Republic of Korea

Received 2 February 2013; Accepted 3 April 2013

Academic Editor: Thomas Efferth

Copyright © 2013 Woncheol Choi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Adenocarcinoma of the ampulla of Vater (AAV) is a rare malignancy that has a better prognosis than other periampullary cancers. However, the standard treatment for patients with relapsed or metastatic AAV has not been established. We investigated the clinical feasibility of standardized allergen-removed Rhus verniciflua stokes (aRVS) extract for advanced or metastatic AAV. Patients and Methods. From July 2006 to April 2011, we retrospectively reviewed all patients with advanced AAV treated with aRVS extract alone. After applying inclusion/exclusion criteria, 12 patients were eligible for the final analysis. We assessed the progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) of these patients during the follow-up period. Results. The median aRVS administration period was 147.0 days (range: 72–601 days). The best tumor responses according to Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors were as follows: two with complete response, two with stable disease, and eight with progressive disease. The median OS was 15.1 months (range: 4.9–25.1 months), and the median PFS was 3.0 months (range: 1.6–11.4 months). Adverse reactions to the aRVS treatment were mostly mild and self-limiting. Conclusions. Prolonged survival was observed in patients with advanced AAV under the treatment of standardized aRVS extract without significant adverse effects.