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Integr Cancer Ther. 2013 Sep;12(5):414-22. doi: 10.1177/1534735412450512. Epub 2012 Jul 9.

Survival benefit of traditional Chinese herbal medicine (a herbal formula for invigorating spleen) for patients with advanced gastric cancer.

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  • 1Department of Oncology, Longhua Hospital, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai, China.



Traditional Chinese herbal medicine (TCHM) is widely used for advanced gastric cancer (AGC) in China. In this study, the authors analyzed the prognostic factors of selected patients with AGC, and further studied the efficacy of TCHM (a herbal formula for invigorating spleen, formerly named Wei Chang' An) on AGC.


Patients with uncured AGC were prospectively enrolled. All patients were enrolled to either the TCHM group or non-TCHM group. TCHM was administered orally to the patients in the TCHM group for 3 months or more. Cox regression analysis was performed to determine survival trends adjusted for clinical and demographic factors. Kaplan-Meier curves were used to assess the differences in survival time.


There were a total of 399 eligible patients with histologically confirmed adenocarcinoma of the stomach from 2001 to 2009. In the overall group, Cox regression analysis suggested that histological type (P = .016), radiotherapy (P = .000), cycle of chemotherapy (P = .000), and TCHM (P = .000) were independent prognostic factors. In a stratification analysis of stage for 213 patients who received 3 or more cycles of chemotherapy, there was a significant increase in median overall survival from 14.0 (non-TCHM group) to 20.0 (TCHM group) months (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.538, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.385-0.750, P = .000). Among 186 patients who did not receive chemotherapy, but best supportive care, there was a significant increase in median overall survival from 7.0 (non-TCHM group) to 14.8 (TCHM group) months (HR = 0.443, 95% CI = 0.299-0.657, P = .000).


TCHM has an important potential value for improving the prognosis of patients with AGC.


Cox proportional hazard regression model; gastric cancer; overall survival; prospective study; traditional Chinese medicine

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