EGCG blocks Velcade

My thanks today go to a blog reader who sent me this link to a February 3 2009 “Blood” abstract: Even though I haven’t accessed the full study yet (but hope to do so soon), the abstract provides enough information to determine that if you are on Velcade (bortezomib) or any other boronic acid-based proteasome inhibitor, you shouldn’t even look sideways at a cup of green tea, let alone drink it.


A team of University of Southern California researchers discovered, in fact, that many of the substances contained in green tea, in particular EGCG, effectively prevented tumor cell death induced by bortezomib in vitro and in vivo. In plainer words: when used in the presence of EGCG and other green tea components, Velcade could not kill off any myeloma cells. So today I have a warning: if you are currently taking Velcade, please do not drink any green tea or take any supplements containing EGCG.

Of course, if you are not on bortezomib, well then, that’s another…cup of tea.

P.S. In August 2008, I posted about a “Blood” study on flavonoids and Velcade, please scroll down my Pages to “Dietary flavonoids and Bortezomib” (under “Related Topics”). A curious study, I must say. If you are a CLL patient on Velcade, for instance, you should not take any quercetin. If, however, you are a myeloma patient on Velcade, quercetin can help prime the myeloma cells to the killing effect of this drug. The flavonoid puzzle…


  1. Hi Margaret

    Just read Arts comments on gliadin inducing IL -1 now, that seems to be a good enough reason for those of us sensitive to wheat, to avoid wheat and other gluten products, I know I always feel worse whenever I fall off the wagon and start eating things with wheat in them! This could be why.


  2. Hola Margaret: I am in my 3rd cycle of Velcade and Thalidomide and have sworn off green tea after reading your recommendations. Recently I started to drink “horse tail” tea (Equisetum arvense L.) as a diuretic since all the cortisone I take causes unconfortable puffiness. Now I am worried that this seemingly benign tea could contain poliphenoles and/or dietary flavinols that may interact negatively with Velcade. I haven´t found any information on this as yet. Would you know anything about this?

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