Prevention of chemotherapy-induced neutropenia by special honey intake

Jamal Zidan, Lika Shetver, Anthony Gershuny, Amira Abzah, Sigalit Tamam, Moshe Stein, Eitan Friedman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Febrile neutropenia is a serious side effect of chemotherapy. Colony-stimulating factors (CSFs) are used for primary and secondary treatment in patients with grade 4 neutropenia. The use of CSFs is expensive and accompanied by side effects. In the current study, Life-Mel Honey (LMH) was administered to prevent neutropenia and to reduce the need for CSFs in patients treated with chemotherapy. Thirty cancer patients receiving chemotherapy for primary or metastatic disease were included. All patients had grade 4 neutropenia and were treated with CSFs. The patients repeated the same chemotherapy schedule, with the addition of LMH for 5 d. Blood count was performed weekly. There was no recurrence of neutropenia after LMH intake and no need for treatment with CSFs in 12 (40%) of patients. Eighteen (60%) patients with LMH developed neutropenia grade 4 and were treated with CSFs (p = 0.007). Hemoglobin levels remained >11 g/dL during LMH intake in 19 (64%) patients. Only three (10%) patients had thrombocytopenia. Eight (32%) patients reported improvement in quality of life. The use of LMH in patients who are at high risk of developing neutropenia as a result of chemotherapy decreases the risk of pancytopenia and the need for CSFs. LMH is inexpensive, has no side effects, and is easy to administer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)549-552
Number of pages4
JournalMedical Oncology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer patients
  • Chemotherapy
  • Hematologic toxicity
  • Honey


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