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Selected Vegetables/Sun's Soup (PDQ®): Complementary and alternative medicine - Health Professional Information [NCI] - History

Selected Vegetables/Sun's Soup was first conceived as a treatment for cancer in the mid-1980s. In an effort to help a relative who was diagnosed with stage IV non-small cell lung cancer (metastasis to the left adrenal gland), the developer created a mixture that contained shiitake mushroom (Lentinus edodes [Berk.] Singer), mung bean (Phaseolus radiatus L.), Hedyotis diffusa Willd., and barbat skullcap (Scutellaria barbata D. Don) in the belief that these plant materials had anticancer and/or immune-system –stimulating properties.[1] After the relative appeared to benefit from this treatment (the relative was reported to be alive and cancer free for more than 13 years [1]), three additional patients (one with stage IV kidney cancer that had metastasized to the lungs, one with stage IV kidney cancer that had metastasized to the liver and to the lungs, and one with stage IV non-small cell lung cancer that had metastasized to the brain) were treated with a variant of the original mixture (i.e., a combination of shiitake mushroom and mung bean).[1] (Note: No explanation has been given for the omission of Hedyotis diffusa and barbat skullcap for these patients.) These additional patients were also said to benefit from vegetable/herb treatment.[1] (Refer to the Human/Clinical Studies section of this summary for more information.)

In June 1992, the developer filed a patent application for the "Herbal treatment of malignancy," and a patent was awarded in August 1995.[1] Also in June 1992, the developer initiated a clinical trial in the Czech Republic to test Selected Vegetables/Sun's Soup as a treatment for advanced non-small cell lung cancer.[2] A second clinical study (a nonconsecutive case series) that also involved patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer was completed in 1997.[3] It is unclear, however, when patient accrual for this second study began.[3] In both reports of the clinical study results, the authors concluded that patients who received Selected Vegetables/Sun's Soup had prolonged survival.[2,3] (Refer to the Human/Clinical Studies section of this summary for more information.)

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