30 Oct 2009

Clinical trials on ice cream to combat chemo side effects

2:35 pm on 30 October 2009

An ice cream developed by Fonterra and the University of Auckland has shown promise in combating some of the unpleasant side effects of chemotherapy.

Fonterra's chief technology officer, Dr Jeremy Hill says the ice cream, known as ReCharge, combines two naturally occurring milk ingredients, a milk fat and milk protein in a concentrated form.

Laboratory tests have shown it has the potential to alleviate the unwanted effects of cancer drug treatment from chemotherapy and also associated anemia and weight loss.

Oncology centres around the country are taking part in clinical trials. Dr Hill says 200 patients are to test the ice cream's effectiveness.

Half will be given the ice cream and the others a placebo.

The trials have been approved by the Ministry of Health and the New Zealand Health & Disability Ethics Committee. Results are expected to be known in about a year.