Written by Katja Boehm, Edzard Ernst and the CAM-Cancer Consortium.
Updated February 28, 2017

Ukrain

Is it safe?

Adverse events

Ukrain is claimed to contain a derivative of thiophosphoric acid, which could cause severe and life-threatening adverse effects.

A literature review of possible cases caused by Chelidonium majus found that it may induce hepatitis and several cases of hepatitis-induced by consumption of Chelidonium majus were found.37 The researchers suggest there might be a probable relationship between liver injury and consumption of Chelidonium majus.

Contraindications

No contraindications of Ukrain have been given by providers, proponents or manufacturer.11 Like with all orally applied medicines, the use of Ukrain during pregnancy and lactation are contraindicated.

Precautions/warnings

Ukrain contains a derivative of thiophosphoric acid, which could cause adverse effects, contraindications and/or interactions associated with other hazardous drugs of this class of chemicals.

Adverse effects

Soreness at injection site, nausea, diarrhoea, dizziness, fatigue, drowsiness, polydipsia, polyuria, and slight fever have been reported.21,38 Haematological side effects and tumour bleeding were reported in a recent phase II trial. Severe bone marrow toxicity may occur after 15 to 20 days of treatment.23 Liver toxicity has been observed.39

Interactions

None known but see comment above.

Quality issues

None known.

Citation

Katja Boehm, Edzard Ernst, CAM-Cancer Consortium. Ukrain [online document]. http://cam-cancer.org/The-Summaries/Herbal-products/Ukrain. February 28, 2017.

Document history

Assessed as up to date in February 2017 by Barbara Wider.
Assessed as up to date in January 2015 by Barbara Wider.
Assessed as up to date in August 2013 by Barbara Wider.
Most recent update and revision in May 2012 by Katja Boehm.
Fully revised and updated in July 2009 by Katja Boehm.
Summary first published in November 2005, authored by Katja Boehm and Edzard Ernst.

References

  1. Weiss RF. Herbal Medicine. Gothenburg, Sweden: Ab Arcanum and Beaconsfield, UK: Beaconsfield Publishers Ltd, 1985, 84–8.
  2. Panzer A, Hamel E, Joubert AM, Bianchi PC, Seegers JC. Ukrain (TM), a semisynthetic Chelidonium majus alkaloid derivative, acts by inhibition of tubulin polymerization in normal and malignant cell lines. Cancer Lett 2000;160(2):149-57.
  3. Panzer A, Joubert AM, Eloff JN, Albrecht CF, Erasmus E, Seegers JC. Chemical analyses of Ukrain, a semi-synthetic Chelidonium majus alkaloid derivative, fail to confirm its trimeric structure. Cancer Lett. 2000;160(2):237-41.
  4. van Maanen MJ, Huitema AD, Rodenhuis S, Beijnen JH. "Urinary excretion of thioTEPA and its metabolites in patients treated with high-dose cyclophosphamide, thioTEPA and carboplatin". Anticancer Drugs 2001;12 (6): 519–24.
  5. US 2006/0154947 A1 (2006-06-13) Wassyl Nowicky, Quaternary chelodine and alkaloid derivates, processes for their preparation and their use in manufacture of medicaments. [Patent]
  6. Susak YM, Zemskov VS, Yaremchuk OY, et al. Comparison of chemotherapy and x-ray therapy with Ukrain monotherapy for colorectal cancer. Drugs Exptl Clin Res 1996;22:115–22.
  7. Uglyanitsa KN, Nefyodov LI, Doroshenko YM, Nowicky JW, Volchek IV, Brzosko WJ, Hodysh YJ. Ukrain: a novel antitumour drug. Drugs Exp Clin Res 2000;56:347-56.
  8. Colombo ML, Bosisio E. Pharmacological activities of Chelidonium majus L. (papaveracea). Pharmacol Res 1996;33:127-34.
  9. Jagiello-Wojtowicz E, Kleinrok Z, Urbanska EM. Ukrain (NSC-631570) in experimental and clinical studies: a review. Drugs Exp Clin Res 1998;24:213-9.
  10. Panzer A, Joubert AM, Bianchi PC, Seegers JC. The antimitotic effects of Ukrain, a Chelidonium majus alkaloid derivative, are reversible in vitro. Cancer Lett. 2000;150(1):85-92.
  11. http://www.ukrin.com, accessed 28 February 2017.
  12. http://www.open-cc.com/English/1_04.asp, accessed 28 February 2017.
  13. http://ukrin.com/en/european-court, accessed 28 February 2017.
  14. Hopf G. Ukrain® - Fortschritt oder Rückschritt in der medikamentösen Therapie onkologischer Erkrankungen? Deutsche Zeitschrift für Onkologie 2002;34:31-6.
  15. Ernst E. Schmidt K. Ukrain – a new cancer cure? A systematic review of randomised clinical trials. BMC Cancer 2005;5:69-75.
  16. Susak YM, Yaremchuk OY, Zemskov VS, Kravchenko OB, Liepins A, Yatsyk IM et al. Randomised clinical study of Ukrain on colorectal cancer. Eur J Cancer 1995;31:S153 Abstract 733.
  17. Susak YM, Zemskov SV, Yaremchuk OY, Kravchenko OV, Yatsyk IM, Korsh OB. Comparison of chemotherapy and X-ray therapy with Ukrain monotherapy for colorectal cancer. Drugs Exp Clin Res 1996;22:115-22.
  18. Bondar GV, Borota AV, Yakovets YI, Zolotukhin SE. Comparative evaluation of the complex treatment of rectal cancer patients (chemotherapy and X-ray therapy, Ukrain monotherapy). Drugs Exp Clin Res 1998;24:221-6.
  19. Uglyanitsa KN, Nechiporenko NA, Nefyodov LI, Brzosko WJ. Ukrain therapy of stage T1NOMO bladder cancer patients. Drugs Exp Clin Res 1998;24:227-30.
  20. Zemskov VS, Procopchuk OL, Susak YM, Zemskov SV, Hodysh YY, Zemskova MV. Ukrain (NSC-631570) in the treatment of pancreas cancer. Drugs Exp Clin Res 2000;26:179-90.
  21. Uglyanitsa KN, Nefyodov LI, Brzosko WJ. Comparative evaluation of the efficiency of various Ukrain doses in the combined treatment of breast cancer. Report I. Clinical aspects of Ukrain application. Drugs Exp Clin Res 2000;26:223-30.
  22. Zemskov SV, Prokopchuk O, Susak Y, Zemskov S, Tkachenko O, Hodysh Y et al. Efficacy of Ukrain in the treatment of pancreatic cancer. Langenbecks Arch Surg 2002;387:84-9.
  23. Gansauge F, Ramadani M, Pressmar J, Gansauge S, Muehling B, Stecker K, Cammerer G, Leder G, Beger HG. NSC-631570 (Ukrain) in the palliative treatment of pancreatic cancer. Results of a phase II trial. Langenbecks Arch Surg 2002;386:570-4.
  24. Arzneimittelbrief. Phase-II-Studie zur Behandlung des fortgeschrittenen, inoperablen Pankreaskarzinoms mit Ukrain. AMB 2002;(5):39a.
  25. Der Spiegel (20. September 2008). Berühmter Chirurg soll wissenschaftliche Studien manipuliert haben. Spiegel 39/2008.
  26. Aschhoff B. Retrospective study of Ukrain treatment in 203 patients with advanced-stage tumors. Drugs Exptl Clin Res 2000;25:249-52.
  27. Gansauge F, Ramadani M, Schwarz M, Beger HG, Lotspeich E, Poch B. The clinical efficacy of adjuvant systemtic chemotherapy with gemcitabine and NSC-631570 in advanced pancreatic cancer. Hepato-Gastroenterology 2007;54:917-20.
  28. Prokopchuk OL, Zemskov SV, Susak YM. Ukrain treatment in a patient with metastatic renal cell carcinoma extending to the vena cava inferior. Case report. Drugs Exp Clin Res 2000;26:257-9.
  29. Prokopchuk OL, Zemskov SV, Susak YM. Ukrain treatment of a patient with retroperitoneal synovial sarcoma. Case report. Drugs Exp Clin Res 2000;26:255-6.
  30. Zemskov SV, Prokopchuk OL, Susak YM. Ukrain treatment in a patient with breast carcinoma. Case report. Drugs Exp Clin Res 2000;26:253-4.
  31. http://www.ukrain.ua/enclosures/nci_cell_line.pdf, accessed 28 February 2017.
  32. Habermehl D, Kammerer B, Handrick R, Eldh T, Gruber C, Cordes Net al. Proapoptotic activity of Ukrain is based on Chelidonium majus L. alkaloids and mediated via a mitochondrial death pathway. BMC Cancer 2006;6:14.
  33. Cordes N, Plasswilm L, Bamberg M, Rodemann HP. Ukrain, an alkaloid thiophosphoric acid derivative of Chelidonium majus L. protects human fibroblasts but not human tumour cells in vitro against ionizing radiation. Int J Radiat Biol 2002;78(1):17-27.
  34. Susak YM, Skivka LM, Rudik MP, Pozur VV, Liubunya AV, Susak YM et al. Comparative investigation of the effect of Ukrain on growth of ascite and solid forms of Ehrlich's carcinoma. Experimental Oncology 2010; 32(2):107-110.
  35. Banerjee A, Pathak S, Biswas SJ, Roy-Karmakar S, Boujedaini N, Belon P et al. Chelidonium majus 30C and 200C in induced hepato-toxicity in rats. Homeopathy: the Journal of the Faculty of Homeopathy 2010; 99(3):167-176.
  36. Funel N, Costa F, Pettinari L, Taddeo A, Sala A, Chiriva-Internati M et al. Ukrain affects pancreas cancer cell phenotype in vitro by targeting MMP-9 and intra-/extracellular SPARC expression. Pancreatology 2010; 10(5):545-552.
  37. Moro PA, Cassetti F, Giugliano G, Falce MT, Mazzanti G, Menniti-Ippolito Fet al. Hepatitis from Greater celandine (Chelidonium majus L.): Review of literature and report of a new case. J Ethnopharmacol 2009;124(2):328-32.
  38. Danysz A, Kokoschinegg M, Hamler F. Clinical studies of Ukrain in healthy volunteers (phase1). Drugs Exp Clin Res 1992;18:39-43.
  39. Stickel F, Seitz HK, Hahn EG, Schuppan D: [Liver toxicity of drugs of plant origin]. Z Gastroenterol 2001; 39(3):225-227.