Effect of oral supplementation with branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) during radiotherapy in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma: A double-blind randomized study

Ik Jae Lee, Jinsil Seong, Jung Im Bae, Sei Hwan You, Yumie Rhee, Jong Ho Lee

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The present study evaluated whether oral supplementation with a branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) improves the biochemical and amino acid profiles of liver tumor patients undergoing radiotherapy. Materials and Methods: Patients were randomly assigned to one of 2 groups: a group given oral supplementation with BCAA granules (LIVACT granules; Samil Pharm Co., Korea, each granule containing Lisoleucine 952 mg, L-leucine 1,904 mg, and L-valine 1,144 mg) during radiotherapy, or a placebo group. Physical and biochemical examinations and measurements, including subjective symptoms, Child-Pugh class, body mass index, plasma albumin concentration, and plasma amino acid profiles were monitored. Results: Fifty were enrolled between November 2005 and November 2006. We also analyzed data from 37 hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients in order to evaluate a more homogenous group. The two groups of patients were comparable in terms of age, gender, Child-Pugh score, and underlying hepatitis virus type. Serum albumin, total protein, liver enzymes, and cholesterol showed a tendency to increase in the BCAA group. In this group, the percentage of cases that reverted to normal serum albumin levels between 3 and 10 weeks after administration of BCAA was significantly higher (41.18%) than in the placebo group (p=0.043). Conclusion: Oral supplementation with a BCAA preparation seems to help HCC patients undergoing radiotherapy by increasing the BCAA concentration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-31
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Research and Treatment
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Mar 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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