Although the anticancer effects of garlic and its products have been demonstrated by a variety of studies; however, few studies were conducted to investigate the effects of garlic on the adverse effects of chemo/radiotherapy. In order to clarify the above question and make a more comprehensive understanding of the anticancer effects of garlic, tumor xenograft mice model was established by subcutaneous injection of H22 tumor cells, and was used for the investigation of effects of garlic oil (GO) on the chemo/radiotherapy. In the chemotherapy test, tumor-bearing mice were treated with cyclophosphamide (CTX) or CTX plus GO (25 or 50 mg/kg bw) for 14 d, while the mice received a single 5 Gy total body radiation or radiation plus GO (25 or 50 mg/kg bw) in radiotherapy test. The results showed that GO did not increase the tumor inhibitory rate of CTX/radiation, which indicated that GO could not enhance the chemo/radiosensitivity of cancer cells. However, the decrease of the peripheral total white blood cells (WBCs) count induced by CTX/radiation was significantly suppressed by GO cotreatment. Furthermore, GO cotreatment significantly inhibited the decrease of the DNA contents and the micronuclei ratio of the bone marrow. Lastly, the reduction of the endogenous spleen colonies induced by CTX/radiation was significantly suppressed by GO cotreatment. These findings support the idea that GO consumption may benefit for the cancer patients receiving chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
Garlic oil could be used as complementary medicine for cancer patients receiving chemo/radiotherapy, as it could attenuate the adverse effects of chemo/radiotherapy.