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Proteolytic Enzyme Therapy

Enzymes are complex proteins that catalyze metabolic reactions throughout the body, and sufficient levels are required for optimizing many of the body’s functions.

Proteolytic enzymes (or proteases) refer to the various enzymes that digest (break down into smaller units) protein. These enzymes include the pancreatic proteases chymotrypsin and trypsin, bromelain (pineapple enzyme), papain (papaya enzyme), fungal proteases, and Serratia peptidase (the “silkworm” enzyme). Proteolytic enzymes have a long history of use in cancer treatment. In 1906, John Beard, a Scottish embryologist, reported on the successful treatment of cancer using a pancreatic extract in his book The Enzyme Treatment of Cancer and its Scientific Basis.

Although the body produces its own supply of enzymes, the amount produced can vary from person to person and is affected by age, diet, biochemistry and stress.
Enzymes fall into three broad categories: metabolic enzymes, manufactured by cells to carry out various functions; digestive enzymes, primarily manufactured by the pancreas to digest foods and absorb nutrients and food enzymes; and exogenous (from outside the body) enzymes from plants and animals, also necessary for aiding and accelerating digestion. 

Since then, proteolytic enzymes have been promoted by numerous alternative cancer practitioners for many years, notably Nicholas Gonzalez, M.D., showed the benefit of proteolytic enzymes in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer in a large-scale study, funded by the National Institute of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, with collaboration from the National Cancer Institute.

PEs are thought to exert immunomodulatory effects by causing increased release of reactive oxygen species by polymorphonuclear leukocytes or by production of tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukins IL-6 and IL-1B that cause cytotoxic effects. The anti-angiogenic effects exhibited by papain in VEGF-activated human endothelial cells are concentration-dependent and likely due to interference with AKT, MEK1/2 and SAPK/JNK phosphorylation. Bromelain has been shown to lower the tumorigenic/metastatic capacities of sarcoma L-1 cells. It also inhibited glioma cell migration and invasion by affecting expression of integrins, necessary for cellular migration and invasion (5). In B16 murine melanoma models, PEs inhibited metastasis by reducing expression of CD44 and CD54 molecules.

Proteases and proteolytic enzymes play fundamental roles in multiple biological processes and are associated with a wide variety of pathological conditions, including cancer. Studies have demonstrated that systemic enzyme therapy significantly decreased tumor-induced and therapy-induced side effects and complaints such as nausea, gastrointestinal complaints, fatigue, weight loss, and restlessness and obviously stabilized the quality of life.

The clinical research that currently exists on proteolytic enzymes suggests significant benefits in the treatment of many forms of cancer. Specifically, these studies have shown improvements in the general condition of patients, quality of life, and modest to significant improvements in life expectancy. Studies have consisted of patients with cancers of the breast lung, stomach, head and neck, ovaries, cervix, and colon, and lymphomas and multiple myeloma. Some of these studies involved the use of proteolytic enzymes in conjunction with conventional therapy (surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation) indicating that proteolytic enzymes can be used safely and effectively with these treatments. Proteolytic enzymes are not recommended for at least two days before or after a surgery as they may increase the risk of bleeding. Proteolytic enzymes have been shown to be quite helpful in speeding up post-surgical recovery and relieving a complication of surgery and radiation known as lymphedema.

Preparations of proteolytic enzymes have also been shown to be useful in the following situations:


Digestion support
Fibrocystic breast disease
Food allergies
Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis)
Hepatitis C
Herpes zoster (shingles)
Inflammation, sports injuries, and trauma
Pancreatic insufficiency
Multiple sclerosis
Rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune disorders
Sinusitis, asthma, bronchitis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Studies have also highlighted the efficacy of systemic proteolytic enzyme therapy for a variety of uses, including maintaining normal inflammatory balance, nasal passage health, bronchial health, musculoskeletal health and exercise-related recovery. In vitro, animal and human data show that proteolytic enzyme therapies are capable of cleaving immune complexes, which are known inflammatory mediators.

Amri E, Mamboya. Papain, a Plant Enzyme of Biological Importance: A Review. Am J Biochem Biotechnol. 2012;8(2),99-104.

Atagi S, Sone S, Fukuta K, Ogura T. Inhibition by fibrin coagulation of lung cancer cell destruction by human interleukin-2-activated killer cells. Jpn J Cancer Res. 1992 Oct; 83(10):1088-94. 

Beard J. The action of trypsin upon the living cells of Jensen's mouse tumor. Br Med J 4, 140-141, 1906.

Beuth J, Braun JM. Modulation of murine tumor growth and colonization by bromelaine, an extract of the pineapple plant (Ananas comosum L.). In Vivo. Mar-Apr 2005;19(2):483-485.



The antitumor and antimetastatic activities of the plant cysteine endoproteinase bromelaine were evaluated in a murine model. Syngeneic sarcoma L-1 cells were incubated with bromelaine (after preceeding time and dosage kinetics) and subcutaneously; (s.c.) or intravenously; (i.v.) inoculated into BALB/c-mice (n = 5 per experimental group) to induce local tumor growth or lung colonization. Compared to non-protease incubated L-1 cells, local tumor growth and experimental lung metastasis decreased significantly (p < 0.05). After bromelaine incubation of the tumor cells. Sarcoma L-1 cells induced local tumor growth after s.c. inoculation and lung colonization after i.v. injection. Intraperitoneal (i.p.) or s.c. administration of bromelaine (optimal dosage and time schedule tested in preceeding kinetic studies) significantly (p < 0.05) reduced local tumor weight, however, lung colonization was non-significantly reduced. Bromelaine incubation of sarcoma L-1 cells significantly reduced their tumorigenic/metastatic capacities. Bromelaine treatment after tumor cell inoculation significantly reduced local tumor growth, experimental lung metastasis, however, to a lesser, non-significant degree.

Beuth J, Ost B, Pakdaman A, Rethfeldt E, Bock PR, Hanisch J, Schneider B. Impact of complementary oral enzyme application on the postoperative treatment results of breast cancer patients - results of an epidemiological multicentre retrolective cohort study. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2001 Jul; 47 Suppl:S45-54.


Purpose: [corrected] To evaluate the impact of postoperative treatment with an oral enzyme (OE) preparation given complementary to an antineoplastic therapy in patients with breast cancer.

Methods: The design of this epidemiological study was a retrolective cohort analysis with parallel groups. Design and conduct of the study were performed to current standards for prospective, controlled clinical trials. A cohort of 2,339 breast cancer patients undergoing surgical intervention and radio-, chemo- or hormonal therapy were studied in 216 centres. Of the 2,339 patients, 1,283 received complementary treatment with OE and 1,056 did not receive OE. Patients with other complementary medications were excluded and the final analysis was performed with the data from 649 patients, of whom 239 (37%) were additionally treated with OE (test group) and 410 (63%) without OE (control group). The median follow-up time for the test group was 485 days and for the control group 213 days. The primary endpoint of the study was to determine whether complementary treatment with OE can reduce typical disease- or therapy-associated signs and symptoms (gastrointestinal symptoms, mental symptoms, dyspnoea, headache, tumour pain, cachexia, skin disorders, infections, and side effects associated with the antineoplastic therapy) in patients with breast cancer. Imbalances for causal effects (covariates) were adjusted for by means of the propensity score. Outcome analysis was performed by estimating the linear regression between change in symptom score and propensity score with all data and using this regression line to calculate the change in symptom score which would be expected for each patient. Tumour-associated events (recurrence, metastasis, and death) were evaluated in terms of the number of events observed and time to event. The safety of treatment with OE was analysed in terms of the number and severity of adverse events, their duration, treatment and outcome.

Results: For all symptoms except tumour pain, the adjusted mean improvement in symptom scores was larger in the test group than in the control group. The adjusted difference was statistically significant for all symptoms, except tumour pain and infections. The results show that the typical disease- and therapy-associated signs and symptoms in patients on complementary therapy with OE during postoperative treatment were significantly less. For 75% of the test group and 55% of the control group the physician recorded "no signs and symptoms". A clear reduction in the side effects of radiotherapy and chemotherapy was documented in 74% of the test group and 55% of the control group. Analysis of survival, recurrence, and metastasis demonstrated a reduced number of events in the test group. There was evidence of a beneficial influence of OE on time to event, although the median observation time was too short in these breast cancer patients to draw definite conclusions. The safety component was judged in 98% of the test group and 76% of the control group as "very good" or "good". In the total sample of 2,339 patients, the rate of OE-associated adverse reactions was 3.2%. All side effects were mild to moderate gastrointestinal symptoms.

Conclusion: Complementary treatment of breast cancer patients with OE improves the quality of life by reducing signs and symptoms of the disease and the side effects of adjuvant antineoplastic therapies. This epidemiological retrolective cohort analysis provides evidence that the patients may also gain benefit by a prolongation of the time to event for cancer recurrence, metastasis and survival. OE was generally well tolerated.

Beuth, Josef. Proteolytic enzyme therapy in evidence-based complementary oncology: fact or fiction? Integrative cancer therapies 7, no. 4 (2008): 311-316.



Systemic enzyme therapy was recently subjected to experimental investigations and to rigorous clinical studies in cancer patients. The designs of the relevant clinical cohort studies followed the guidelines of Good Epidemiological Practice and represent level IIB in evidence-based medicine (EBM). Scientifically sound experimental in vitro and in vivo investigations are far advanced and document promising immunological, anti-inflammatory, anti-infectious, and antitumor/antimetastatic activities of proteolytic enzyme mixtures (containing trypsin, chymotrypsin, and papain) or bromelain. EBM level II clinical studies, which are accepted by the European Union to show safety and efficacy of medical treatments, were performed to evaluate the benefit of complementary systemic enzyme therapy in cancer patients suffering from breast and colorectal cancers and plasmacytoma. These studies demonstrated that systemic enzyme therapy significantly decreased tumor induced and therapy-induced side effects and complaints such as nausea, gastrointestinal complaints, fatigue, weight loss, and restlessness and obviously stabilized the quality of life. For plasmacytoma patients, complementary systemic enzyme therapy was shown to increase the response rates, the duration of remissions, and the overall survival times. These promising data resulted in an “orphan drug status” designation for a systemic enzyme product, which should motivate further studies on this complementary treatment.

Bhui K, Prasad S, George J, Shukla Y. Bromelain inhibits COX-2 expression by blocking the activation of MAPK regulated NF-kappa B against skin tumor-initiation triggering mitochondrial death pathway. Cancer Lett 2009 Sep 18;282(2):167-76. (Abstract)

Bhui K, Tyagi S, Prakash B, Shukla Y. Pineapple bromelain induces autophagy, facilitating apoptotic response in mammary carcinoma cells. Biofactors. 2010 Nov-Dec;36(6):474-82. (Abstract)

Braun, J. M., B. Schneider, and H. J. Beuth. Therapeutic use, efficiency and safety of the proteolytic pineapple enzyme Bromelain-POS® in children with acute sinusitis in Germany. In Vivo 19, no. 2 (2005): 417-421.



The therapeutic efficiency and safety of the proteolytic enzyme bromelaine obtained from pineapple (Bromelain-POS®, Ursapharm GmbH, Saarbrücken, Germany) was evaluated in children under the age of 11 years diagnosed with acute sinusitis. Data from 116 patients from 19 centres located across Germany were analysed in a pharmacoepidemiological cohort study. Patient cohorts were either treated with Bromelain-POS® (N=62), in combination with Bromelain-POS® and standard therapies (N=34), or with standard therapies (N=20). The primary parameter measuring effectiveness of the different treatment groups was the duration of symptoms. The shortest mean period of symptoms was observed in patients treated with Bromelain-POS® alone (6.66 days), followed by the standard therapy (7.95 days) and those treated with a combination of Bromelain-POS® and the standard therapy (9.06 days). Patients of the Bromelain-POS® monotherapy group showed a statistically significant faster recovery from symptoms (p=0.005) compared to the other treatment groups. One 10-year-old male patient, with a known pineapple allergy, showed a self-limiting mild allergic reaction. No other unwanted side effects were reported. This trial documents that the proteolytic pineapple enzyme Bromelain-POS® is widely used in the treatment of young children diagnosed with acute sinusitis in Germany and that the use of proteolytic enzymes can benefit such patients.

Brien S, Lewith G, Walker AF, et al. Bromelain as an adjunctive treatment for moderate-to-severe osteoarthritis of the knee: a randomized placebo-controlled pilot study. QJM. Dec 2006;99(12):841-850.

Bingle, áL, N. J. Brown, and C. E. Lewis. The role of tumour‐associated macrophages in tumour progression: implications for new anticancer therapies. The Journal of Pathology: A Journal of the Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland196, no. 3 (2002): 254-265.


This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, and comparator-controlled trial evaluated the safety and efficacy of an enzyme combination, as Wobenzym, in adults with moderate-to-severe osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee. Adults (n = 150) received Wobenzym, diclofenac (a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, NSAID), or placebo for 12 weeks. Improvement in pain scores (Lequesne Functional Index) did not differ between subjects treated with Wobenzym or diclofenac, and both treatment groups improved compared to placebo (P < 0.05). Reduction in total WOMAC scores (secondary outcome measure) did not differ between Wobenzym and diclofenac, although only diclofenac emerged as different from placebo (P < 0.05). The median number of rescue medication (paracetamol) tablets consumed was less in the Wobenzym group compared to placebo (P < 0.05), while there was no difference between diclofenac and placebo. Adverse events were similar in frequency in Wobenzym and placebo groups (7.2% and 9.1% of subjects, resp.) and higher in diclofenac group (15.6%). Wobenzym is comparable to the NSAID diclofenac in relieving pain and increasing function in adults with moderate-to-severe painful knee OA and reduces reliance on analgesic medication. Wobenzym is associated with fewer adverse events and, therefore, may be appropriate for long-term use.


Bolten WW, Glade MJ, Raum S, Ritz BW. The safety and efficacy of an enzyme combination in managing knee osteoarthritis pain in adults: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Arthritis. 2015;2015:25152

Chabot JA, Tsai WY, Fine RL, et al. Pancreatic proteolytic enzyme therapy compared with gemcitabine-based chemotherapy for the treatment of pancreatic cancer. J Clin Oncol 28 (12): 2058-63, 2010.


Dale PS, Tamhankar CP, George D, et al. Co-medication with hydrolytic enzymes in radiation therapy of uterine cervix: evidence of the reduction of acute side effects. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. Jul 2001;47 Suppl:S29-34.


Purpose: The use of additional therapy with an oral enzyme preparation containing trypsin, chymotrypsin and papain has been suggested for the reduction of toxicity due to radiation therapy. This study was conducted to test the efficacy and tolerability of this enzyme combination in preventing or reducing the acute side effects of radiation therapy in patients with locally advanced cervical cancer.

Methods: A prospective, randomised, open, clinical trial was carried out on 120 patients (aged 24-85 years) with locally advanced, biopsy-proven carcinomas of the uterine cervix (stages IIa, lIb or IIIb). Patients received 50 Gy of external radiation therapy over a period of 5 weeks, followed by intracavitary brachytherapy (20-30 Gy). Patients assigned to the test group (60 patients) received additional treatment with enzymes. Patients were evaluated at weekly intervals for acute radiation therapy-related side effects, according to the RTOG/EORTC grading criteria, and then after the end of radiation therapy for another 8 weeks. Occurrence of adverse events, if any, was also recorded.

Results: The study revealed that the maximum extent of acute radiation side effects was reduced in the enzyme group: skin reactions (mean: 0.97 vs 1.68 in the control group, P < 0.001), vaginal mucosal reactions (0.55 vs 0.85, P = 0.10), genitourinary symptoms (0.93 vs 1.38, P < 0.001) and gastrointestinal reactions (1.12 vs 1.30, P = 0.12). The sum-scores during treatment, expressed as area under the curve, were significantly less in the enzyme treated patients. In the follow-up visits all observed side effects of radiation therapy were of lower intensity in the enzyme group than in the control group.

Conclusions: In patients with locally advanced cancer of the uterine cervix, oral enzyme therapy was found to be effective in significantly reducing radiation therapy-related side effects such as genitourinary symptoms, subcutaneous changes and reactions of the vaginal mucosa.

Desser L, Rehberger A, Paukovits W. Proteolytic enzymes and amylase induce cytokine productio

Desser L, Rehberger A. Induction of tumor necrosis factor in human peripheral-blood mononuclear cells by proteolytic enzymes. Oncology. 1990;47(6):475-477. (Abstract) 



We could demonstrate that polyenzyme preparations as well as bromelain and papain stimulate the production of tumor necrosis factor-alpha in human peripheral-blood mononuclear cell cultures in a time-dependent manner. We give evidence that immunomodulation and especially the release of cytokines may contribute to the therapeutic effect of these preparations.

Desser, L.; Holomanova, D. et al. Oral therapy with proteolytic enzymes decreases excessive TGF-beta levels in human blood. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2001; 47 Suppl.

Desser L, Rehberger A, Kokron E, et al. Cytokine synthesis in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells after oral administration of polyenzyme preparations. Oncology. Nov-Dec 1993;50(6):403-407. (Abstract)

Gass, Jonathan, Michael T. Bethune, Matthew Siegel, Andrew Spencer, and Chaitan Khosla. Combination enzyme therapy for gastric digestion of dietary gluten in patients with celiac sprue. Gastroenterology 133, no. 2 (2007): 472-480


Gioia, Magda, Chiara Ciaccio, Paolo Calligari, Giovanna De Simone, Diego Sbardella, Grazia Tundo, Giovanni Francesco Fasciglione et al. "Role of proteolytic enzymes in the COVID-19 infection and promising therapeutic approaches." Biochemical Pharmacology 182 (2020): 114225.



In the Fall of 2019 a sudden and dramatic outbreak of a pulmonary disease (Coronavirus Disease COVID-19), due to a new Coronavirus strain (i.e., SARS-CoV-2), emerged in the continental Chinese area of Wuhan and quickly diffused throughout the world, causing up to now several hundreds of thousand deaths.

As for common viral infections, the crucial event for the viral life cycle is the entry of genetic material inside the host cell, realized by the spike protein of the virus through its binding to host receptors and its activation by host proteases; this is followed by translation of the viral RNA into a polyprotein, exploiting the host cell machinery. The production of individual mature viral proteins is pivotal for replication and release of new virions.

Several proteolytic enzymes either of the host and of the virus act in a concerted fashion to regulate and coordinate specific steps of the viral replication and assembly, such as (i) the entry of the virus, (ii) the maturation of the polyprotein and (iii) the assembly of the secreted virions for further diffusion. Therefore, proteases involved in these three steps are important targets, envisaging that molecules which interfere with their activity are promising therapeutic compounds.

In this review, we will survey what is known up to now on the role of specific proteolytic enzymes in these three steps and of most promising compounds designed to impair this vicious cycle.

Gonzalez, Nicholas J., and Linda L. Isaacs. "The Gonzalez therapy and cancer: a collection of case reports." Alternative therapies in health and medicine 13, no. 1 (2007): 46.


Gonzalez NJ, Isaacs LL. Evaluation of pancreatic proteolytic enzyme treatment of adenocarcinoma of the pancreas, with nutrition and detoxification support. Nutr Cancer 33 (2): 117-24, 1999. (Abstract)


Historically, large doses of proteolytic enzymes, along with diet, nutritional supplements, and “detoxification” procedures, have been used in alternative therapies to treat all forms of cancer, without formal clinical studies to support their use. A 2-year, unblinded, 1-treatment arm, 10-patient, pilot prospective case study was used to assess survival in patients suffering inoperable stage II–IV pancreatic adenocarcinoma treated with large doses of orally ingested pancreatic enzymes, nutritional supplements, “detoxification” procedures, and an organic diet. From January 1993 to April 1996 in the authors’ private practice, 10 patients with inoperable, biopsy-proven pancreatic adenocarcinoma were entered into the trial. After one patient dropped out, an 11th patient was added to the study (however, all 11 are considered in the data tabulation). Patients followed the treatment at home, under the supervision of the authors. As of 12 January 1999, of 11 patients entered into the study, 9 (81%) survived one year, 5 (45%) survived two years, and at this time, 4 have survived three years. Two patients are alive and doing well: one at three years and the other at four years. These results are far above the 25% survival at one year and 10% survival at two years for all stages of pancreatic adenocarcinoma reported in the National Cancer Data Base from 1995. This pilot study suggests that an aggressive nutritional therapy with large doses of pancreatic enzymes led to significantly increased survival over what would normally be expected for patients with inoperable pancreatic adenocarcinoma.

Gunji Y, Gorelik E. Role of fibrin coagulation in protection of murine tumor cells from destruction by immune cells. Cancer Res 48: 5216–5221, 1988.

Gunji Y, Lewis J, Gorelik E. Fibrin formation inhibits the in vitro cytotoxic activity of human natural and lymphokine-activated killer cells. Blood Coagul Fibrinolysis. 1990 Dec; 1(6):663-72. (Abstract)


Gujral MS, Patnaik PM, Kaul R, et al. "Efficacy of hydrolytic enzymes in preventing radiation therapy-induced side effects in patients with head and neck cancers." Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. Jul 2001;47 Suppl:S23-28.


Purpose: Based on in vitro and on clinical evidence of protection against acute side effects of radiation, a prospective randomized, open study was performed to determine the efficacy of an oral proteolytic enzyme preparation in patients with head and neck cancer receiving conventional fractionated radiation therapy.

Methods: Patients with stage T3/T4 head and neck cancer were eligible. One hundred patients from two centres were entered into the study. 60Co gamma-radiation was delivered at a standard daily radiation dose of 2 Gy in 25-35 fractions over a period of 6-7 weeks. Two lateral parallel opposing fields were used with a portal area of 10 x 15 cm. Patients assigned to the test group arm additionally received enzyme tablets orally t.i.d. starting 3 days prior to radiation therapy, and continuing up to 5 days after completion of the course of radiation therapy. Patients in the control arm were not given any drug or placebo. Acute radiation side effects were described as mucositis, skin reaction, dysphagia, and were graded at each visit during and after radiation therapy, following RTOG/EORTC criteria.

Results: The severity (maximum extent) of acute radiation therapy side effects was significantly less in enzyme-treated patients than in control patients: mucositis (mean: 1.3 vs 2.2, P < 0.001), skin reaction (1.2 vs 2.4, P < 0.001) and dysphagia (1.4 vs 2.2, P < 0.001). The duration of these side effects as well as the sum scores of side effects were also less in the study arm.

Conclusions: Combination of enzyme therapy with conventional fractionated radiation therapy was feasible and well-tolerated. There was significant protection against acute side effects of radiation therapy in the study arm. Not only was the severity of acute side effects less but the duration was shorter and the time to onset was also delayed. Prospective randomized double-blind studies would verify this role of an oral enzyme therapy as standard co-medication with radiation therapy to the head and neck region.

Ito, C., K. Yamaguchi, Y. Shibutani, K. Suzuki, Y. Yamazaki, H. Komachi, H. Ohnishi, and H. Fujimura. "Anti-inflammatory actions of proteases, bromelain, trypsin and their mixed preparation (author's transl)." Nihon yakurigaku zasshi. Folia pharmacologica Japonica 75, no. 3 (1979): 227-237.



Anti-inflammatory actions of proteases, bromelain (BR), trypsin (TR) and their mixed preparation (KT) were studied mainly in rabbits using various experimental test methods. Inhibitory action of edema formation induced by carrageenan was observed to be dose dependent with oral administrations of KT. This inhibitory action of KT was more remarkable than actions of BR and TR, suggesting a possible synergism between the latter two. Such action was also observed with non-steroidal anti-rheumatic drugs, phenylbutazone (PB), indomethacin and acetylsalicylic acid. Oral administration of KT exerted definite inhibition or a tendency toward inhibition against paw edema induced by dextran, histamine or egg albumin or skin edema induced by anti-rabbit serum and thermal stimulation. Furthermore, inhibition of vascular permeability increase induced by histamine and bradykinin as well as a tendency toward inhibition against protein exudation in CMC-pouch method were observed. On the other hand, contrary to PB, potent inhibitory action was not manifested in the persistent proliferative inflammation models, the granuloma formation induced formalin-soaked filter paper and cotton pellet and the mustard edema. Therefore, it can be deduced that the inhibitory action of KT against edema formation may be dependent mainly on the inhibitory action of vascular permeability increase and the anti-inflammatory action may be specific for acute exudative inflammation.

Johansson, Björn P., Oonagh Shannon, and Lars Björck. IdeS: a bacterial proteolytic enzyme with therapeutic potential. PLoS one 3, no. 2 (2008): e1692. (Abstract)



Background: IdeS, a proteinase from Streptococcus pyogenes, cleaves immunoglobulin (Ig)G antibodies with a unique degree of specificity. Pathogenic IgG antibodies constitute an important clinical problem contributing to the pathogenesis of a number of autoimmune conditions and acute transplant rejection. To be able to effectively remove such antibodies is therefore an important clinical challenge


Methodology/Principal Findings: IdeS was found to specifically and efficiently cleave IgG in human blood in vitro (20 µg of IdeS caused a complete degradation of IgG in one ml of human whole blood in 15 minutes) and to clear IgG from the blood stream of rabbits in vivo (no IgG was detected six hours following an intravenous injection of 5 mg of IdeS) without any side effects. In a mouse model of immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), polyclonal IgG antibodies against platelet surface antigens were used to induce a lethal disease. These profoundly thrombocytopenic animals were treated and cured by a single injection of IdeS.

Conclusions/Significance: Novel information is provided concerning the IgG-cleaving activity of IdeS in vitro and in vivo. The highly specific and rapid elimination of IgG in vivo, the dramatic effect in a mouse model of ITP, and the lack of side effects in the treated animals, indicate that IdeS could also be used to treat IgG-driven diseases in humans.

Kalra N, Bhui K, Roy P, et al. Regulation of p53, nuclear factor kappaB and cyclooxygenase-2 expression by bromelain through targeting mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway in mouse skin. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2008 Jan 1;226(1):30-7. (Abstract)
Kamenicek, V.; Holan, P.; and Franek, P. Systemic enzyme therapy in the treatment and prevention of post-traumatic and postoperative swelling. Acta Chir Orthop Traumatol Cech. 2001; 68(1):45-49. (Abstract)

Klein, G.; Kullich, W. et al. Efficacy and tolerance of an oral enzyme combination in painful osteoarthritis of the hip. A double-blind, randomized study comparing oral enzymes with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2006; 24(1):25-30.


Lehmann, P. V. "Immunomodulation by proteolytic enzymes." Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation 11, no. 6 (1996): 953-955.


Studies such as Dr Gaciong's and Dr Heidland's suggest that enzyme therapy is a promising approach to the treatment of T-cell-dependent diseases in humans. The evaluation of its efficacy awaits randomized, controlled therapeutic trials, which should 955 be facilitated by the fact that the enzymes are already on the market, are relatively inexpensive, and have proven to be virtually free of side-effects.

Leipner, Jörg, and Reinhard Saller. "Systemic enzyme therapy in oncology." Drugs 59, no. 4 (2000): 769-780.


Plant extracts with a high content of proteolytic enzymes have been used for a long time in traditional medicine. Besides proteolytic enzymes from plants, ‘modern’ enzyme therapy additionally includes pancreatic enzymes. The therapeutic use of proteolytic enzymes is partly based on scientific studies and is partly empirical. The aim of the current review is to provide an overview of clinical trials of systemic enzyme therapy in oncology, and to discuss the evidence for their possible mechanisms of action. Clinical studies of the use of proteolytic enzymes in oncology have mostly been carried out on an enzyme preparation consisting of a combination of papain, trypsin and chymotrypsin. This review of these studies showed that enzyme therapy can reduce the adverse effects caused by radiotherapy and chemotherapy. There is also evidence that, in some types of tumours, survival may be prolonged. The beneficial effect of systemic enzyme therapy seems to be based on its anti-inflammatory potential. However, the precise mechanism of action of systemic enzyme therapy remains unsolved. The ratio of proteinases to antiproteinases, which is increasingly being used as a prognostic marker in oncology, appears to be influenced by the oral administration of proteolytic enzymes, probably via an induction of the synthesis of antiproteinases. Furthermore, there are numerous alterations of cytokine composition during therapy with orally administered enzymes, which might be an indication of the efficacy of enzyme therapy. Effects on adhesion molecules and on antioxidative metabolism are also reviewed.

Leipner, Jörg, Felix Iten, and Reinhard Saller. "Therapy with proteolytic enzymes in rheumatic disorders." BioDrugs 15, no. 12 (2001): 779-789.


Plant extracts with a high content of proteolytic enzymes have been used in traditional medicine for a long time. Besides herbal proteinases, ‘modern’ enzyme therapy includes pancreatic enzymes. The therapeutic use of proteolytic enzymes is empirically based but is also supported by scientific studies. This review provides an overview of preclinical and clinical trials of systemic enzyme therapy in rheumatic disorders. Studies of the use of proteolytic enzymes in rheumatic disorders have mostly been carried out on enzyme preparations consisting of combinations of bromelain, papain, trypsin and chymotrypsin. The precise mechanism of action of systemic enzyme therapy remains unresolved. The ratio of proteinases to antiproteinases, which is affected by rheumatic diseases, appears to be influenced by the oral administration of proteolytic enzymes, probably via induction of the synthesis of antiproteinases or a signal transduction of the proteinase-antiproteinase complex via specific receptors. Furthermore, there are numerous alterations of cytokine composition during therapy with orally administered enzymes resulting from immunomodulatory effects, which might be an indication of the efficacy of enzyme therapy.

The results of various studies (placebo-controlled and comparisons with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) in patients with rheumatic diseases suggest that oral therapy with proteolytic enzymes produces certain analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects. However, the results are often inconsistent. Nevertheless, in the light of preclinical and experimental data as well as therapeutic experience, the application of enzyme therapy seems plausible in carefully chosen patients with rheumatic disorders.

López-Otín, Carlos, and Lynn M. Matrisian. Emerging roles of proteases in tumour suppression. Nature reviews cancer 7, no. 10 (2007): 800.


Marzin T, Lorkowski G, Reule C, et al. Effects of a systemic enzyme therapy in healthy active adults after exhaustive eccentric exercise: a randomised, two-stage, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial. BMJ Open Sport Exerc Med. 2017 Mar 12;2(1):e000191.


Background: Systemic enzyme therapy may improve symptoms of exhaustive eccentric exercise due to anti-inflammatory properties.

Methods: In a randomised, placebo-controlled, two-stage clinical trial, systemic enzyme therapy (Wobenzym) was administered for 72 hours before and 72 hours following a day on which subjects performed an exhaustive eccentric exercise (isokinetic loading of the quadriceps). Efficacy criteria (maximal strength and pain) and time points were selected to account for the multidimensional nature of exercise-induced muscle damage symptoms. Subjects were randomised in a crossover (stage I, n=28) and parallel group design (stage II, n=44).

Results: Analysis of stage I data demonstrated a significant superiority (Mann-Whitney=0.6153; p=0.0332; one sided) for systemic enzyme therapy compared with placebo. Stage II was designed as a randomised controlled parallel group comparison. Heterogeneity (I2>0.5) between stages led to separate analyses of stage I (endurance-trained subjects) and stage II (strength-trained subjects). Combined analysis resulted in no evidence for corresponding treatment effects. Analysis of pooled biomarker data, however, demonstrated significant favourable effects for systemic enzyme therapy in both stages.

Conclusion: Systemic enzyme therapy before and after exhaustive eccentric exercise resulted in higher maximal concentric strength in the less strength-trained subjects (stage I) and in significant favourable effects on biomarkers (inflammatory, metabolic and immune) in all subjects. The application of these findings needs further evaluation.


Massimiliano R, Pietro R, Paolo S, et al. Role of bromelain in the treatment of patients with pityriasis lichenoides chronica. J Dermatolog Treat. 2007;18(4):219-222. (Abstract)

Maurer HR. Bromelain: biochemistry, pharmacology and medical use. Cell Mol Life Sci 2001;58:1234-45. (Abstract) 

Mecikoglu, Mete, Baransel Saygi, Yakup Yildirim, Evrim Karadag-Saygi, Saime Sezgin Ramadan, and Tanil Esemenli. "The effect of proteolytic enzyme serratiopeptidase in the treatment of experimental implant-related infection." JBJS 88, no. 6 (2006): 1208-1214.


Background: Infection around an implanted orthopaedic device is a devastating complication, and the treatment of infections involving slime-forming bacteria is especially difficult. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a proteolytic enzyme, serratiopeptidase, in the eradication of a periprosthetic infection in an in vivo animal model. 

Methods: In sixty Sprague-Dawley rats, the medullary canal of the right femur was drilled through the intercondylar notch and was inoculated with a Staphylococcus epidermidis strain (ATCC 35984) with a high slime-producing capacity. The cavity was filled with polymethylmethacrylate cement, and a Kirschner wire that had contact with the knee joint was inserted. None of the animals received any treatment for two weeks. Twenty rats were killed at two weeks after the inoculation in order to determine if the infection had become established. The remaining forty rats were randomized into two groups. One group received serratiopeptidase enzyme injections into the knee joint in addition to antibiotic therapy for four weeks, and the other group received intra-articular saline solution injections together with the same antibiotic therapy. The animals from both groups were killed two weeks after the end of therapy (on Day 56). The knee specimens were evaluated bacteriologically and histologically to determine the prevalence of persistent infection and the effects of the enzyme on local tissue. 

Results: At two weeks, inoculated bacteria grew on culture of specimens from twelve (63.2%) of nineteen animals in the no-treatment group. Microbiological testing suggested that infection persisted in only one (5.6%) of eighteen animals in the serratiopeptidase-and-antibiotic group, whereas it was present in six (37.5%) of sixteen animals in the antibiotic-only group (p = 0.001). Histological evaluation showed similar results (kappa = 0.92). 

Conclusions: Serratiopeptidase was effective for eradicating infection caused by biofilm-forming bacteria in this experimental animal model. The antibiofilm property of the enzyme may enhance antibiotic efficacy in the treatment of staphylococcal infections.

Metzig C, Grabowska E, Eckert K, et al. Bromelain proteases reduce human platelet aggregation in vitro, adhesion to bovine endothelial cells and thrombus formation in rat vessels in vivo. In Vivo. Jan-Feb 1999;13(1):7-12.


The thiol protease, bromelain, an extract from pineapple stem, was suggested to have antithrombotic and anticoagulant activities in vivo. We studied the effects of bromelain on cell size distribution of isolated human platelets in vitro by Coulter Counter measurements. Preincubation of platelets with bromelain (10 micrograms/mL) completely prevented the thrombin (0.2 U/mL) induced platelet aggregation. Papain was less active in preventing platelet aggregation. In vitro, bromelain (0.1 microgram/mL) reduced the adhesion of bound, thrombin stimulated, fluorescent labeled platelets to bovine aorta endothelial cells. In addition, preincubation of platelets with bromelain, prior to thrombin, activation, reduced the platelet adhesion to the endothelial cells to the low binding value of unstimulated platelets. On the basis of mass concentrations, the proteases papain and trypsin were as effective as bromelain. Using a laser thrombosis model, the in vivo effects of orally and intraveneously applied bromelain on thrombus formation in rat mesenteric vessels were studied. Bromelain, orally applied at 60 mg/kg body weight, inhibited the thrombus formation in a time dependent manner, the maximum being after 2 hours in 11% of arterioles and 6% of venoles. Intravenous application at 30 mg/kg was slightly more active in reducing thrombus formation in arterioles (13%) and venoles (5%), suggesting that orally applied bromelain is biologically active. These results may help to explain some of the clinical effects observed after bromelain treatment in patients with thrombosis and related diseases.

Minaev, S.V.; Nemilova, T.K.; and Knorring, G.I. Polyenzymatic therapy in prevention of adhesive processes in the abdominal cavity in children. Vestn Khir Im I I Grek. 2006. (Abstract) 


Mohr T, Desser L. Plant proteolytic enzyme papain abrogates angiogenic activation of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) in vitro. BMC Complement Altern Med. Sep 21 2013;13(1):231.


Background: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a key regulator of physiologic and pathogenic angiogenesis in diseases such as cancer and diabetic retinopathy. It is known that cysteine proteases from plants, like bromelain and papain are capable to suppress inflammatory activation. Recent studies have demonstrated that they may interfere with angiogenesis related pathways as well. The aim of this study was to investigate the anti-angiogenic effects of papain on human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) in vitro.

Methods: Cell viability after prolonged treatment with papain was investigated by life cell staining and lactate dehydrogenase release assay. Angiogenic activation was assessed by ELISA against phosphorylated proteins AKT, MEK1/2, ERK1/2, SAPK/JNK and p38-MAPK. Growth inhibition was determined by means of an MTT-assay and cell migration by means of a scratch assay. Capability to form a capillary network was investigated using a tube formation assay.

Results: Papain did not induce proteolysis or cell detachment of HUVEC in a concentration range between 0 and 25 μg/mL. Four hours treatment with 10 μg/mL papain resulted in a reduced susceptibility of endothelial cells to activation by VEGF as determined by phosphorylation levels of Akt, MEK1/2, SAPK/JNK. Papain exerted a distinct inhibitory effect on cell growth, cell migration and tube formation with inhibition of tube formation detectable at concentrations as low as 1 μg/mL. Bromelain and ficin displayed similar effects with regard to cell growth and tube formation.

Conclusion: Papain showed a strong anti-angiogenic effect in VEGF activated HUVEC. This effect may be due to interference with AKT, MEK1/2 and SAPK/JNK phosphorylation. Two other plant derived cysteine proteases displayed similar inhibition of HUVEC cell growth and tube formation. These findings indicate that plant proteolytic enzymes may have potential as preventive and therapeutic agents against angiogenesis related human diseases.


Nakamura, Seiichi, Yasushi Hashimoto, Masashi Mikami, Eiichi Yamanaka, Tomoyuki Soma, Mitsunori Hino, Arata Azuma, and Shoji Kudoh. "Effect of the proteolytic enzyme serrapeptase in patients with chronic airway disease." Respirology 8, no. 3 (2003): 316-320.

Objectives: The proteolytic enzyme serrapeptase (SER) is widely used in clinical practice in Japan. We investigated the effect of SER on sputum properties and symptoms in patients with chronic airway diseases.

Methods: This study was an open-labelled trial with a non-treatment control group. Patients were randomly assigned to oral treatment with (n = 15) and without (n = 14) SER 30 mg/day for 4 weeks. Patients collected sputum samples for about 4 h in the morning on the day the trial began and 4 weeks later. We measured the amount of sputum by weighing. Part of each sputum sample was weighed and then completely dried and reweighed. The percentage solid component, viscosity and elasticity of the sputum were measured. Mucociliary transportability index was measured using ciliated bovine trachea ex vivo. Sputum smears were also prepared to count sputum neutrophils. Patients’ symptoms were assessed by a questionnaire that used a visual analogue scale.

Results: After 4 weeks of SER treatment, sputum weight in the morning, percentage solid component, viscosity and elasticity of sputum, sputum neutrophil count, frequency of coughing and frequency of expectoration significantly decreased. The mean mucociliary transportability index increased from 13.3 ± 1.8 to 24.4 ± 2.5 (P = 0.0103).

Conclusions: SER may exert a beneficial effect on mucus clearance by reducing neutrophil numbers and altering the viscoelasticity of sputum in patients with chronic airway diseases.

Nakazawa, Mahito, Steven N. Emancipator, and MICHAEL E. Lamm. "Proteolytic enzyme treatment reduces glomerular immune deposits and proteinuria in passive Heymann nephritis." Journal of Experimental Medicine 164, no. 6 (1986): 1973-1987.


We investigated the effect of proteolytic enzyme treatment on the course of passive Heymann nephritis (PHN). PHN was induced by intravenous injection of Heymann antibody into Sprague Dawley rats. Protease-treated rats received intraperitoneal chymopapain and subtilisin. In rats given subnephritogenic doses of Heymann antibody (5 or 10 mg, insufficient to cause proteinuria), glomerular immune deposits were assessed by immunofluorescence and electron microscopy. In rats given 5 mg Heymann antibody and treated with protease in the heterologous phase of the disease (days 1-7), fewer animals were positive for rabbit IgG and rat IgG, as determined by immunofluorescence on day 12, compared with controls (p less than 0.01). Rats given 10 mg Heymann antibody and treated on days 1-5 were less frequently positive for rabbit IgG on day 5 than controls (p less than 0.05). When treatment was given on days 6-12 (autologous phase), fewer rats had glomerular rabbit and rat IgG compared with controls (p less than 0.025). Protease treatment of rats given nephritogenic doses of Heymann antibody (greater than or equal to 40 mg, causing proteinuria) did not result in significant differences in immunofluorescence deposits. However, protease treatment significantly reduced the number of electron dense deposits at all doses of antibody (p less than 0.01). Furthermore, rats given 60 mg Heymann antibody followed by enzyme treatment in the heterologous phase (days 1-7) or throughout the autologous phase (days 6-18) had significantly reduced protein excretion during the autologous phase compared with control rats (p less than 0.05). After onset of significant proteinuria on day 15 in rats given 40 mg Heymann antibody and treated from day 15 until day 25, there was significantly less (p less than 0.05) proteinuria on days 21-22 and 24-25 than in control rats; thus, enzymes could reverse proteinuria. In normal rats, administration of proteases did not have significant effects on urinary protein excretion, serum creatinine, or renal morphology, nor did protease affect anti-rabbit IgG antibody production in rats injected with Heymann antibody. The overall results indicate that proteolytic enzyme treatment can prevent or remove glomerular immune deposits and can prevent or reverse proteinuria.

Novak JF, Trnka F. Proenzyme therapy of cancer. Anticancer Res. 2005 Mar-Apr;25(2A):1157-77.

Odell J. Oral Proteolytic Enzyme Therapy.

Onken JE, Greer PK, Calingaert B, et al. Bromelain treatment decreases secretion of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines by colon biopsies in vitro. Clin Immunol. Mar 2008;126(3): 345-352.

Pandey S et al. Anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties of Carica papaya. J Immunotoxicol. 2016;13(4),590-602.


Pavan, Rajendra, Sapna Jain, and Ajay Kumar. "Properties and therapeutic application of bromelain: a review." Biotechnology research international 2012 (2012).



Bromelain belongs to a group of protein digesting enzymes obtained commercially from the fruit or stem of pineapple. Fruit bromelain and stem bromelainare prepared differently and they contain different enzymatic composition. “Bromelain” refers usually to the “stem bromelain.” Bromelain is a mixture of different thiol endopeptidases and other components like phosphatase, glucosidase, peroxidase, cellulase, escharase, and several protease inhibitors. In vitro and in vivo studies demonstrate that bromelain exhibits various fibrinolytic, antiedematous, antithrombotic, and anti-inflammatory activities. Bromelain is considerably absorbable in the body without losing its proteolytic activity and without producing any major side effects. Bromelain accounts for many therapeutic benefits like the treatment of angina pectoris, bronchitis, sinusitis, surgical trauma, and thrombophlebitis, debridement of wounds, and enhanced absorption of drugs, particularly antibiotics. It also relieves osteoarthritis, diarrhea, and various cardiovascular disorders. Bromelain also possesses some anticancerous activities and promotes apoptotic cell death. This paper reviews the important properties and therapeutic applications of bromelain, along with the possible mode of action.

Petru, Edgar, Bettina Stranz, and Claudia Petru. "Effects of proteolytic enzyme therapy with Wobe Mugos against chemotherapy-induced toxicity in breast cancer patients-results of a pilot study." Wiener medizinische Wochenschrift (1946) 160, no. 19-20 (2010): 513-516.


Background: Wobe Mugos(®) is an enzyme preparation containing the proteases trypsin and papain from the pancreatic calf and commonly used in complementary medicine. From non-randomized studies, its multiple favorable effects including the reduction of adverse events from radiotherapy and chemotherapy in oncology patients have been reported.

Methods: Patients with invasive breast cancer receiving adjuvant or palliative chemotherapy between 2005 and 2006 and who were scheduled for at least two further cycles of this specific chemotherapy were included in this pilot study. A specific toxicity of at least grade 2 using the NCI common toxicity criteria which occurred during the preceeding cycle and was relevant to the patient was recorded. This specific toxicity, e.g. grade 2 emesis, was again evaluated after two analogously administered further chemotherapy cycles in which Wobe Mugos(®) had been coadministered. The hypothesis was that specific toxicites of individual patients will be reduced by this enzyme therapy. The majority of the 57 consecutive patients received palliative chemotherapy. Peroral enzyme therapy was coadministered with two uncracked coated tablets three times daily on all days of a chemotherapy cycle except on the day of chemotherapy administration.

Results: Tolerability was good. Positive and neutral effects on toxicity parameters were observed in 11 and 42 patients, respectively, and a negative influence in 4 women.

Conclusion: We observed only a marginal influence of Wobe Mugos(®) in patients with breast cancer who had experienced at least a grade 2 toxicity in the preceding cycle and who received two further identical cycles of this chemotherapy in conjunction with the enzyme preparation. Randomized studies on homogenous patient populations are necessary.

Popiela T, Kulig J, Hanisch J, Bock PR. Influence of a complementary treatment with oral enzymes on patients with colorectal cancers - an epidemiological retrolective cohort study. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2001 Jul; 47 Suppl:S55-63. (Abstract)



Purpose: To evaluate the impact of postoperative treatment with an oral enzyme (OE) preparation given complementary to an antineoplastic therapy in patients with all stages of colorectal cancer.

Methods: The design of this epidemiological study was a retrolective cohort analysis with parallel groups. Design and conduct of the study were performed to current standards for prospective, controlled clinical trials. Of a cohort of 1,242 patients with colorectal cancer (documented in 213 centres), 616 had received complementary treatment with OE (182 OE only, 405 other complementary drugs, 29 protocol violators) and 626 had not received OE (368 control only, 229 other complementary drugs, 29 protocol violators). Of 1,162 patients who had undergone primary surgery, 526 received adjuvant chemotherapy and 218 radiotherapy. The median follow-up time for the OE group was 9.2 months and for the control group 6.1 months. The primary test criterion of efficacy for OE treatment was the multivariate effect size of the changes from baseline of the disease- and therapy-associated signs and symptoms (nausea, vomiting, changes in appetite, stomach pain or stomach disorder, tiredness, depression, memory or concentration disorder, sleep disturbance, dizziness, irritability, dyspnoea at rest, dyspnoea during activity, headache, tumour pain, cachexia, skin disorders and infections). Tumour-related events, e.g. death, were evaluated by the number of events observed and time to event. Safety of treatment with OE was analysed in terms of number and severity of adverse events, their duration, treatment and outcome.

Results: A significant reduction in disease-associated signs and symptoms was observed in patients treated with OE alone, but not in those receiving OE in addition to other complementary treatments. Adverse reactions to chemo- and radiotherapy were diminished in all patients receiving OE. Analysis of survival did not demonstrate a reduced number of deaths in the OE group. However, a trend to prolongation of survival was demonstrated, particularly in the patients with disease stage Dukes' D, in the subgroup receiving OE in addition to other complementary treatments. Similar but less-pronounced trends were observed for disease stages Dukes' B and C. In the OE group, 21 of 616 patients (3.4%) experienced OE-associated adverse reactions, all of them mild to moderate gastrointestinal symptoms.

Conclusion: Complementary treatment of colorectal cancer patients with OE improves their quality of life by reducing both the signs and symptoms of the disease and the adverse reactions associated with adjuvant antineoplastic therapies. This epidemiological retrolective cohort analysis provides evidence that patients may also benefit by a prolongation of survival time. OE were generally well tolerated.


Rosenberg, Lior, Oren Lapid, Alex Bogdanov-Berezovsky, Ronen Glesinger, Yuval Krieger, Eldad Silberstein, Amiram Sagi, Keith Judkins, and Adam J. Singer. "Safety and efficacy of a proteolytic enzyme for enzymatic burn debridement: a preliminary report." Burns 30, no. 8 (2004): 843-850.



A prospective, non-comparative study design was used to describe our experience with a bromelain-derived debriding agent, Debridase, in 130 patients with 332 deep second degree and third-degree burns treated between 1984 and 1999. Debridase was applied after saturating the burns with a moist dressing for 2–24 h. Debridase was applied for a period of 4 h under an occlusive dressing. Mean patient age was 18.6  19.3, 42 (32.3%) were female, and 63 (48.5%) were children under age 18. Most burns were small. Debridase was applied once in 241 (72.6%) of the 332 wounds, twice in 67 (20.18%) cases, three times in 12 (3.61%) cases, and four times in 2 (0.6%) cases. The percentage debridement by number of applications was 89  21% for a single application, 77  27% for two, and 62  27% for three Debridase applications, respectively. There were no significant adverse events. The availability of a fast acting, reliable and complication-free enzymatic debriding agent may open new horizons and provide a new treatment modality for burns.

Rothman S, Liebow C, Isenman L. Conservation of digestive enzymes. Physiol Rev 82 (1): 1-18, 2002.


Siegel, Matthew, Michael T. Bethune, Jonathan Gass, Jennifer Ehren, Jiang Xia, Alexandre Johannsen, Tor B. Stuge, Gary M. Gray, Peter P. Lee, and Chaitan Khosla. Rational design of combination enzyme therapy for celiac sprue. Chemistry & biology 13, no. 6 (2006): 649-658.



Celiac sprue (also known as celiac disease) is an inheritable, gluten-induced enteropathy of the upper small intestine with an estimated prevalence of 0.5%–1% in most parts of the world. The ubiquitous nature of food gluten, coupled with inadequate labeling regulations in most countries, constantly poses a threat of disease exacerbation and relapse for patients. Here, we demonstrate that a two-enzyme cocktail comprised of a glutamine-specific cysteine protease (EP-B2) that functions under gastric conditions and a PEP, which acts in concert with pancreatic proteases under duodenal conditions, is a particularly potent candidate for celiac sprue therapy. At a gluten: EP-B2:PEP weight ratio of 75:3:1, grocery store gluten is fully detoxified within 10 min of simulated duodenal conditions, as judged by chromatographic analysis, biopsy-derived T cell proliferation assays, and a commercial antigluten antibody test.

Tysnes BB, Maurer HR, Porwol T, et al. Bromelain reversibly inhibits invasive properties of glioma cells. Neoplasia. Nov-Dec 2001;3(6):469-479.

Wald M, Olejar T, Sebkova V, et al. Mixture of trypsin, chymotrypsin and papain reduces formation of metastases and extends survival time of C57Bl6 mice with syngeneic melanoma B16. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. Jul 2001;47 Suppl:S16-22.

Wald M, Závadová E, Poucková P, Zadinová M. Polyenzyme preparation Wobe-Mugos inhibits growth of solid tumors and development of experimental metastases in mice. Boubelik M.Life Sci. 1998; 62(3):PL43-8. (Abstract)

Walker AF, Bundy R, Hicks SM, Middleton RW. Bromelain reduces mild acute knee pain and improves well-being in a dose-dependent fashion in an open study of otherwise healthy adults. Phytomedicine 2002;9:681-6.