Background: Leukopenia is the most common adverse event in chemotherapy, which natural products can prevent and treat. The aim of this study was to investigate the clinical efficacy of potato extract for alleviating chemoradiotherapy-induced leukopenia in cancer patients.
Methods: This was a single-blinded randomized placebo-controlled trial that enrolled 184 cancer patients. The participants were scheduled to undergo chemoradiotherapy in two hospitals, where they were randomized to receive potato extract or a placebo in a 1:1 ratio for a period of 49 days. Change in leukocyte value was considered the primary outcome of this clinical trial. Secondary outcomes included tumor response rate, blood test, and quality of life score.
Results: The leukopenia was relieved in the potato extract group compared with the placebo group. Of note, a significant difference in leukopenia between the two groups was found after 14 days (p = 0.04). In addition, there was no statistically significant difference in leucocyte levels in the potato extract group (before and after potato extract treatment; p = 0.13), but in the placebo group, the leukocyte value significantly decreased compared to before treatment (p = 0.06).
Conclusions: Potato extract can alleviate chemoradiotherapy-induced leukopenia in cancer patients. These results show the potential function of potato extract as a protective agent in management of cancer chemoradiotherapy.