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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2016;2016:1327251. doi: 10.1155/2016/1327251. Epub 2016 Jun 21.

Herbal Medicine for Hot Flushes Induced by Endocrine Therapy in Women with Breast Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

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Key Laboratory of Carcinogenesis and Translational Research (Ministry of Education), Integrative Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine with Western Medicine, Peking University School of Oncology, Beijing Cancer Hospital & Institute, Beijing 100142, China.
National Institute of Complementary Medicine (NICM), Western Sydney University, Macarthur, NSW 2751, Australia.
Liverpool Cancer Center, Liverpool Hospital, Liverpool, NSW 2170, Australia.



This systematic review was conducted to evaluate the clinical effectiveness and safety of herbal medicine (HM) as an alternative management for hot flushes induced by endocrine therapy in breast cancer patients.


Key English and Chinese language databases were searched from inception to July 2015. Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) evaluating the effects of HM on hot flushes induced by endocrine therapy in women with breast cancer were retrieved. We conducted data collection and analysis in accordance with the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions. Statistical analysis was performed with the software (Review Manager 5.3).


19 articles were selected from the articles retrieved, and 5 articles met the inclusion criteria for analysis. Some included individual studies showed that HM can relieve hot flushes as well as other menopausal symptoms induced by endocrine therapy among women with breast cancer and improve the quality of life. There are minor side effects related to HM which are well tolerated.


Given the small number of included studies and relatively poor methodological quality, there is insufficient evidence to draw positive conclusions regarding the objective benefit of HM. Additional high quality studies are needed with more rigorous methodological approach to answer this question.

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