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Integr Cancer Ther. 2011 Sep;10(3):240-59. doi: 10.1177/1534735411406539. Epub 2011 Sep 30.

Colon cancer survival with herbal medicine and vitamins combined with standard therapy in a whole-systems approach: ten-year follow-up data analyzed with marginal structural models and propensity score methods.

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  • 1Pine Street Foundation, San Anselmo, CA, USA. mcculloch@pinestreetfoundation.org

Abstract

Although localized colon cancer is often successfully treated with surgery, advanced disease requires aggressive systemic therapy that has lower effectiveness. Approximately 30% to 75% of patients with colon cancer use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), but there is limited formal evidence of survival efficacy. In a consecutive case series with 10-year follow-up of all colon cancer patients (n = 193) presenting at a San Francisco Bay-Area center for Chinese medicine (Pine Street Clinic, San Anselmo, CA), the authors compared survival in patients choosing short-term treatment lasting the duration of chemotherapy/radiotherapy with those continuing long-term. To put these data into the context of treatment responses seen in conventional medical practice, they also compared survival with Pan-Asian medicine + vitamins (PAM+V) with that of concurrent external controls from Kaiser Permanente Northern California and California Cancer Registries. Kaplan-Meier, traditional Cox regression, and more modern methods were used for causal inference-namely, propensity score and marginal structural models (MSMs), which have not been used before in studies of cancer survival and Chinese herbal medicine. PAM+V combined with conventional therapy, compared with conventional therapy alone, reduced the risk of death in stage I by 95%, stage II by 64%, stage III by 29%, and stage IV by 75%. There was no significant difference between short-term and long-term PAM+V. Combining PAM+V with conventional therapy improved survival, compared with conventional therapy alone, suggesting that prospective trials combining PAM+V with conventional therapy are justified.

PMID:
21964510
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC4081504
Free PMC Article
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