Prescription drugs derived from the Artemisia annua plant show very limited benefit in improving cancer treatment outcomes.
How do experts use artemisinin-based drugs?
Integrative experts provide recommendations for artemisinin-based drugs in treating people with cancer. Learn more about the approaches and meanings of recommendations: Integrative Oncology Programs and Expert Guidelines ›
Clinical practice guidelines
Artemisinin-based drugs are not mentioned in the practice guidelines we consulted.
Published protocols, programs, and approaches
Artemisinin-based drugs are used in programs, approaches, and protocolsa package of therapies combining and preferably integrating various therapies and practices into a cohesive design for care from these integrative oncologists, drawing from both scientific research and observations from years or even decades of treating people with cancer.
Raymond Chang, MD, FACP
Chang R. Beyond the Magic Bullet: The Anti-Cancer Cocktail. New York: Square One Publishers. 2012.
This book describes a “new therapy based on the knowledge that certain off-label drugs, nutrients, and therapies are each somewhat effective against cancer.” Dr. Chang combines approaches for added benefit.
Artemisinin-based drugs may be effective for melanoma specifically, and research shows benefit in lung cancer for short-term survival.
Neil McKinney, BSc, ND
McKinney N. Naturopathic Oncology, Fourth Edition. Victoria, BC, Canada: Liaison Press. 2020.
This book includes descriptions and uses of many natural and complementary protocols for cancer in general and for specific cancers. It also includes information on integrative support during conventional cancer treatment.
Uses of artesunate:
- Advanced cancer
- Breast cancer
- Carcinoid (gastrointestinal neuroendocrine) tumor
- Cervical cancer
- Colorectal cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Liver and gallbladder cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Nasopharyngeal, head and neck cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Stomach cancer
Gurdev Parmar, ND, FABNO, and Tina Kaczor, ND, FABNO
Parmar G, Kaczor T. Textbook of Naturopathic Oncology: A Desktop Guide of Integrative Cancer Care. 1st edition. Medicatrix Holdings Ltd. 2020.
This book provides information on the treatment of 24 cancers, plus the most effective treatments of the most common symptoms affecting cancer patients while they undergo chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or surgery.
Colorectal Cancer: Artemisinin-based drugs are used pre-op to increase apoptosis and decrease recurrence
Exact dosage of artemisinin-based drugs in cancer has not been determined in clinical trials.