Use of Chinese Herbal Medicine as an Adjuvant for Cancer Treatment: A Randomized Controlled Dose-Finding Clinical Trial on Lung Cancer Patients
King-Fai Cheng, Ping-Chung Leung
DOI: 10.4236/jct.2011.22010   PDF    HTML     6,997 Downloads   12,997 Views   Citations


Background: Cancer has become a leading cause of death world-wide. In Hong Kong, cancer accounted for 24.8% of deaths in 1980, rising to 31.3% in 1998. The conventional treatment of cancer usually includes surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. These conventional therapies do not guarantee not relapse and are often associated with serious side effects. Using Chinese Medicine (CM) as an adjunctive treatment is commonly practiced in Chinese Communities to support patients being treated with conventional modern medicine, with the aim of alleviating the side effects, and improving self-defense and their quality of life. Well-designed and conducted clinical trials could give evidence of the efficacy of CM. This study investigated the clinical efficacy through the well designed clinical trial, and the implementation of carrying out the trial, to assess the adjuvant and supportive effect on lung cancer patients. Methods: The clinical study was designed as a randomized controlled trial to investigate the dose-dependent effects. Primary endpoint was the difference of Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-General (FACT-G) score. Results: 41 eligible subjects were enrolled and randomly divided into 2 groups, 21 in high dose group and 20 in low dose group. Sub-domains of PWB (Physical well-being) and EWB (Emotional well-being) as well as FACT-G total score were significantly improved in high dose group when compared with low dose group after 12 weeks treatment (p = 0.015, 0.006 and 0.012, respectively). Conclusions: Holistic approach using quality of life as parameters to evaluate the efficacy of CM is an important compromise. Well-designed clinical trial can provide convincing evidence to support CM’s efficacy. The study demonstrated that quality of life of patients with lung cancer could be beneficial from the supportive care with CM.

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K. Cheng and P. Leung, "Use of Chinese Herbal Medicine as an Adjuvant for Cancer Treatment: A Randomized Controlled Dose-Finding Clinical Trial on Lung Cancer Patients," Journal of Cancer Therapy, Vol. 2 No. 2, 2011, pp. 91-98. doi: 10.4236/jct.2011.22010.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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