Long-term use of combined conventional medicine and Chinese herbal medicine decreases the mortality risk of patients with lung cancer.
Complement Ther Med. 2020 Aug ;52:102427. Epub 2020 May 19. PMID: 32951705
BACKGROUND: We explored the effect of Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) on the long-term survival of lung cancer patients and hazard ratio (HR) and to analyse CHM herbs and formulas for lung cancer treatment.
METHODS: We conducted a retrospective cohort study on diagnosed lung cancer patients in 2003-2016 from Taipei and Dalin Tzu Chi General Hospital Cancer Registry Database and from outpatient database from Chinese Medicine and Conventional Medicine Department. We categorised the patients into CHM user and CHM nonuser groups according to the CHM consumption time. After passing the proportional hazard assumption, we used the Cox PH model to calculate the groups' survival hazard ratio (HR) and examine the statistical difference and effect of CHM on lung cancer survival.
RESULTS: We classified 2557 lung cancer patients into 1643 CHM nonusers and 228 CHM users. The CHM users had lower mortality than the CHM nonusers. With the multivariable Cox model, we observed that the CHM use was associated with 35% lower risk of mortality (adjusted HR: 0.65; 95% confidence interval: 0.51-0.76). Continuous CHM use of>180 days may further lessen the mortality risk by 64%. Finally, eight herbs and two formulas could significantly lower the mortality. After pairing the eight herbs for analysis, seven combinations could reduce the mortality better than only using one herb.
CONCLUSION: CHM users had significantly lower mortality than CHM nonusers. The longer the CHM use, the more the mortality HR declined. Glehnia littoralisF. Schmidt ex Miq., Polyporus umbellatus(Pers.) Fries and Trichosanthes kirilowii Maxim. possess a highly substantial anticancer activity compared with other herbs.