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Journal of Integrative Medicine ›› 2016, Vol. 14 ›› Issue (5): 322-335.doi: 10.1016/S2095-4964(16)60270-4

• Review • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Post-hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in patients with hematologic disorders: Chinese herbal medicine for an unmet need

Tom Fleischera, Tung-Ti Changb,c,d, Hung-Rong Yenb,c,e,f   

  1. a Graduate Institute of Chinese Medicine, College of Chinese Medicine, China Medical University,Taichung 40402, Taiwan, China
    b Department of Chinese Medicine, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan 40447, China
    c School of Chinese Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan 40402, China
    d School of Post-baccalaureate Chinese Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung 40402, Taiwan,China 
    e Research Center for Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture, China Medical University, Taichung 40402,Taiwan, China 
    f Research Center for Traditional Chinese Medicine, Department of Medical Research, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung 40402, Taiwan, China
  • Received:2016-05-02 Accepted:2016-07-04 Online:2016-09-15 Published:2016-09-15
  • Contact: Hung-Rong Yen, MD, PhD; E-mail:

While much progress has been made in the field of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), headway in the promotion of recovery following this procedure has been limited. Data regarding the potential of Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) for patients with hematologic disorders who received HSCT are gradually increasing; however, these data are mostly in Chinese. Therefore, we set out to summarize the existing data. We searched PubMed, the Cochrane Library and the China National Knowledge Infrastructure and retrieved 9 clinical studies related to this group of patients, in whom CHM was used as an intervention. Of the 9 papers, 6 were published by the same group of researchers. The focus of the reviewed studies was heterogeneous, and the objectives varied widely. With the exception of one randomized control trial, all of the studies were retrospective and observational; the median number of patients was 11.5, with the largest study containing 104 patients. CHM treatment was largely divided into two stages: (1) pre-HSCT, which was initiated as soon as conditioning chemotherapy was administered and aimed to counterbalance the adverse effects of these potent agents; (2) post-HSCT, which began immediately after transplantation and was intended to promote engraftment, control graft-versus-host disease and prolong survival. In addition, the 9 Chinese materia medica most commonly prescribed (appearing in four studies) were: Shengdihuang (Rehmannia glutinosa), Baizhu (Atractylodes macrocephala), Renshen (Panax ginseng), Dangshen (Codonopsis pilosula), Maimendong (Ophiopogon japonicus), Danggui (Angelica sinensis), Taizishen (Pseudostellaria heterophylla), Huangqi (Astragalus membranaceus) and Ejiao (Equus asinus).

Key words: Hematologic diseases, Hematologic disorder, Hematopoietic stem cells, Chinese herbal medicine, Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, Review

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