Effect of Nigella sativa seed administration on prevention of febrile neutropenia during chemotherapy among children with brain tumors
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Seeds of Nigella sativa (NS) are used to combat various disease conditions through their antibacterial effects. To evaluate the seeds’ potential, we studied their effect on the prevention of febrile neutropenia (FN) in children with brain tumors.
A randomized pretest-post-test control group study including 80 children (2–18 years) with brain tumors undergoing chemotherapy were equally allocated into two groups. Intervention group received 5 g of NS seeds daily throughout treatment while controls received nothing. CBC with differentials, incidence of FN, and LOS were noted on each follow-up.
The majority of children 38/40 (95%), of the intervention group, took the seeds for 3–9 consecutive months. Eight out of 372 (2.2%) FN episodes were experienced by children of intervention group compared to controls 63/327 (19.3%) (p = 0.001) and a shorter LOS (median = 2.5 days) vs 5 days in the control group (p = 0.006). Children in both groups belonged to almost same geographical area with similar socio-economic background. Weights of children were almost equal at diagnosis.
NS seeds showed a decrease in incidence of FN in children with brain tumors with shortening of subsequent LOS which may improve their outcome and thereby quality of life. Larger scale studies are needed to further evaluate the seeds’ potential.
KeywordsNigella sativa Febrile neutropenia Pediatric oncology Pediatric brain tumors Black seed Nutrition
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia
Atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumors
Body mass index
Central nervous tumors
Common toxicity criteria for adverse events
Relative dose intensity
Fisher’s exact probability
Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor
Granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor
Length of hospital stay
Monte-Carlo exact probability
We would like to show our gratitude to all children who were involved in this study and their parents for their patience and cooperation during the course of this research.
Compliance with ethical standards
Ethical approval was obtained from ethics committees of High Institute of Public Health and Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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