Research: LI, Department of Oncolog

Listed in Issue 25

Abstract

LI, Department of Oncology, Nanfang Hospital, First Military Medical University, Guangzhou, China studied the effects of combining Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) with chemotherapy in lung cancer patients.

Background

Methodology

102 lung cancer patients from May 1992 to May 1995 were randomly divided into two groups: Group A with 48 patients, were treated with combined TCM and chemotherapy; Group B with 54 patients were treated with chemotherapy alone. The chemotherapy protocol used in the two groups was similar. Chinese medicines were determined mainly according to Syndrome Differentiation. RESULTS: Four TCM types were found in Group A: 1) Lung and Spleen Qi Deficiency; 2) Lung Heat and Phlegm-Dampness; 3) Lung-Yin and Stomach-Yin Deficiency; and 4) Qi stagnation and blood stasis.

Results

The total effective rate according to the WHO standard of group A and B was 52.1% and 35.1% respectively; 1-year survival rate 69.4% and 66.7% respectively; 2-year survival rate 56.2% and 15.8% respectively and median survival time was 13 months and 9 months, respectively.

Conclusion

: These results suggest that increased median survival time and 2-year survival rate in Group A may be closely related to the therapeutic effect of TCM; however the combined therapy of TCM and chemotherapy did not improve the therapeutic efficacy significantly.

References

Li JH. A study on treatment of lung cancer by combined therapy of traditional Chinese medicine and chemotherapy. Chung Kuo Chung Hsi I Chieh Ho Tsa Chih 16(3): 136-8. March 1996 .

Comment

Survival rates for lung cancer are not good. That TCM enhanced median survival time and the 2-year survival rates is promising. There are a number of unanswered questions here, including: 1) What would be the survival rate for TCM treatment alone without chemotherapy? 2) Can TCM treatment prevent the development of lung cancer in patients at high risk? 3) Did TCM treatment improve the quality of life? 4) Considering the 4 types of Syndrome found, can this be a diagnostic method for lung cancer? 5) Which Chinese medicines appeared to be the most effective. This journal is Chinese and hence the English abstract is the only information currently available regarding this important research.

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