Anti-Cancer Drugs and Chinese Medicine

Current Status
Not Enrolled
Get Started
This course is currently closed

To learn how to navigate this course, please watch this video

Anti-Cancer Drugs as a group of drugs are more commonly used than we would like. But cancer is not a singular disease and is actually thousands of very different diseases with only one thing in common: unregulated and malignant cell growth. Just as there are so many cancers, there are a lot of different agents to combat them. This seminar will look at classes of anti-cancer drugs: alkylating agents, antimetabolites, antibiotics, microtubule inhibitors, steroid hormones and their antagonists, monoclonal antibodies, tyrosine kinase inhibitors, and other anti-cancer agents. We will look at what they do and how they do it, as well as the dangers Chinese medical practitioners need to be aware of when combining with herbs and acupuncture. This is a must review seminar for anyone who has cancer patients in their practice.

Course Goals

A participant will be able to:

  1. Understand how anti-cancer drugs and herbs interact
  2. Identify the most common anti-cancer drugs with potential for drug-herb interactions
  3. Explore how major anti-cancer drugs act on the body
  4. Protect oneself from potential medico-legal issues arising from interactions

Picture Information

Prostate cancer cells treated with nano sized drug carriers. Credit: Khuloud T. Al-Jamal & Houmam KafaAttribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0). Available from:


3-dimensional reconstruction of a hollow multi-cellular prostate tumour spheroid (cluster of cells) imaged by confocal microscopy. Cell nuclei in the spheroid are stained with the fluorescent dye propidium iodide (red). Dendrimer nano-carriers (blue) are made of hyber-branched poly-L-lysine polymer and carry the cytotoxic drug doxorubicin (black and red beads inside the dendrimer). They were modelled in imaging software and then artificially inserted into the tumour in this image to give an idea of how they would interact with it. Doxorubicin encapsulated inside the dendrimer is able to penetrate deeper into the spheroid better killing the prostate tumour cells. Diameter of the spheroid is approximately 250 micrometers.