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Journal of Integrative Medicine ›› 2018, Vol. 16 ›› Issue (6): 390-395.doi: 10.1016/j.joim.2018.09.001

• Original Clinical Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The use of a standardized Chinese herbal formula in patients with advanced lung cancer: A feasibility study

Goulnar Kasymjanova, Anh-Thi Tran, Victor Cohen, Carmela Pepe, Lama Sakr, David Small, Jason  Scott Agulnik, Robert Thomas Jagoe   

  1. Peter Brojde Lung Cancer Center, Segal Cancer Center, Jewish General Hospital, Montreal H3T 1E2, Canada
  • Received:2018-02-12 Accepted:2018-07-05 Online:2018-11-08 Published:2018-09-21
  • Contact: Goulnar Kasymjanova; E-mail: gkasymja@jgh.mcgill.ca

Objective
Increasing numbers of cancer patients are using Chinese herbs (CHs). However, differences among prior studies make it difficult to draw firm conclusions about the clinical usefulness of any specific CH formula. The primary objective of this study was to establish the acceptability of taking a standardized CH formula for patients with advanced lung cancer. The secondary objective was to identify any toxicities attributable to this CH formula and to measure changes in quality of life.


Methods

A single-arm, prospective study of a 6-week intervention with a selected CH formula in 15 patients with stage 4 nonsmall-cell lung cancer (NSCLC, Seventh American Joint Committee on Cancer TNM staging system).


Results

Patients with advanced lung cancer were interested in using the CH formula. Completion (93%) and adherence (98%) levels were very high and most patients perceived the CH treatment as easy to take and were willing to take the CHs used in the study again if it was available. About half of the patients reported adverse events, all of which were mild (Grade 1 or 2) and only a small minority (8%) were potentially related to CHs. No biochemical or hematological evidence of toxicity was observed. Overall, there were improvement in quality of life, and reduced feelings of tiredness and sleepiness.


Conclusion

This study provides preliminary evidence that short-term use of a carefully selected and prepared CH formula in patients with stage 4 NSCLC is acceptable and safe.

Key words: Lung cancer, Chinese herbs, Quality of life

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