Colon cancer surgery complications reduced with wheat germ

First clinical data of a natural immunomodulator in colorectal cancer.

Jakab F, Mayer A, Hoffmann A, Hidvegi M. Hepatogastroenterology. Mar-Apr 2000;47(32):393-395.

Background: Colon cancer is a slow growing cancer, but when it metastasizes, it can become incurable and rapidly lethal. Screening efforts (i.e. regular colonoscopies) have reduced the occurrence of colon cancer, but in those that develop the disease, treatment includes surgery and adjunctive chemotherapy (i.e. chemotherapy after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells). The goal is to prevent metastases; if metastases occur (e.g. to liver), the 5-year survival is only 7%.

Clinical Trial: This trial, published in 2000, was the first of its kind to investigate the role of a fermented wheat germ product on the post-surgical consequences of colon cancer. Researchers enrolled 30 patients with colon cancer who had undergone surgery to remove the cancer and a section of the intestine. Some patients received adjunctive chemotherapy and others did not. Eighteen patients received oral Avemar™ and 12 patients did not. Nine months after surgery, the wheat germ group had no new metastases (tumors in other parts of the body). However, 4 out of 12 patients not taking Avemar™ (25%) developed metastases within 9 months. Three of those four died of their disease.

Conclusion: The oral fermented wheat product, Avemar™, reduced the likelihood of patients having colon cancer metastasis after surgical resection of the colon.