Purpose: This study investigated how adding Korean red ginseng extract (KRG) to folinic acid, fluorouracil and oxaliplatin (FOLFOX) chemotherapy affected the rate of splenomegaly in colon cancer. Methods: This retrospective study analyzed 42 patients who were randomly assigned to receive a FOLFOX regimen with or without KRG. Spleen volume change was assessed by computed tomography scans measured before surgery (presurgery volume) and 3 weeks after cessation of the 12th cycle of FOLFOX (postchemotherapy volume). Results: All patients showed increased spleen volume. No difference was observed in median presurgery and postchemotherapy volume between the KRG and control groups. However, a ratio defined as postchemotherapy volume divided by presurgery volume was significantly lower in the KRG group than the control group (median, 1.38 [range, 1.0–2.8] in KRG group vs. median, 1.89 [range, 1.1–3.0] in control group, P = 0.028). When splenomegaly was defined as a >61% increase in spleen volume, the rate of splenomegaly was significantly lower in the KRG group than the control group (28.6% vs. 61.9%, P = 0.03). KRG consumption was inversely associated with developing splenomegaly in multivariate analysis. Conclusion: Adding KRG during FOLFOX chemotherapy for colon cancer might protect against oxaliplatin-induced splenomegaly. The protective effect of Korean red ginseng should be investigated with further research.
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