Local subjects needed for ginger clinical trial

February 15, 2019

MANKATO — Most sushi eaters and tea drinkers would be well aware of ginger's tasty qualities, but a clinical trial now available in Mankato could shed more light on how the extract helps prevent colon cancer.

The opportunity is one in a series of expanded clinical trial options opening in Greater Minnesota through the Minnesota Cancer Clinical Trials Network. It'll need 100 participants, with Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato one of several sites involved across the state.
The blind study will require participants to ingest either ginger or placebo capsules four times per day over a six-week period to measure how the plant extract affects intestinal microorganisms.

Prior research already suggests ginger extract has cancer-preventive qualities, but how it works is less clear. The study should provide more evidence, said Marie Rahne, senior manager with the clinical trial network. "They look at the change between the control and experimental group to see, does the microbiome shift in people who are taking ginger or not?" she said. "If so, perhaps there are larger follow-ups."

Area residents between the ages of 50 and 75 who've had colon polyps removed in the last five years are eligible for the study, said Dr. Stephan Thome, Mayo Clinic Health System's regional oncology medical director. He called the new trial an exciting opportunity for Greater Minnesota patients to take part in clinical trials.

"This is the first time we've got something like it available," he said. "This is something that's entirely local; it's easier for the patient."

Along with taking four capsules daily over the six weeks, participants will provide three stool, and two saliva and urine samples. They'll be instructed where to send the samples and will have all necessary materials provided free of charge.
Once the requirements are completed, participants receive a $60 gift card. Thome encouraged eligible patients interested in the study to consult with their primary physicians ahead of enrolling.

"There have been a lot of theories about what parts of ginger can contribute to lower colorectal cancer treatments," he said. " ... I'm hopeful that's going to be an interesting trial and easy to recruit."

Additional trials are expected to open in Mankato in the near future. The rollouts are part of an ongoing effort to bring research from Mayo Clinic and the Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota to more residents across the state, Rahne said.
"It takes everybody participating to move scientific research forward," she said.

To check into participating in the trial, call the clinical trials network's nurse navigator line at 612-624-2620.

View the full story at the Mankato Free Press.