An assessment of the impact of herb-drug combinations used by cancer patients

Herb/Dietary Supplements (HDS) are the most popular Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) modality used by cancer patients and the only type which involves the ingestion of substances which may interfere with the efficacy and safety of conventional medicines. This study aimed to assess the level of use of HDS in cancer patients undergoing treatment in the UK, and their perceptions of their effects, using 127 case histories of patients who were taking HDS. Previous studies have evaluated the risks of interactions between HDS and conventional drugs on the basis on numbers of patient using HDSs, so our study aimed to further this exploration by examining the actual drug combinations taken by individual patients and their potential safety.