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Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine ›› 2010, Vol. 8 ›› Issue (2): 116-120.doi: 10.3736/jcim20100204

• Original Clinical Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Survival time of advanced gastric cancer patients treated with integrated traditional Chinese and Western medicine therapy

Ni-da Cao,Ai-guang Zhao, Jin-kun Yang   

  1. The First Department of Oncology, Longhua Hospital, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 200032, China
  • Received:2009-09-02 Accepted:2009-12-08 Online:2010-02-20 Published:2010-02-15
  • Contact: Ni-da CAO


Advanced gastric cancer has a low survival rate while traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) therapy has effects in inhibiting tumor growth, lengthening survival time and improving the quality of life.

To analyze the effects of integrated traditional Chinese and Western medicine therapy on the survival time and quality of life of advanced gastric cancer patients.
Design, setting, participants and interventions

A total of 95 advanced gastric cancer patients were enrolled and divided into comprehensive group (48 cases) and control group (47 cases). The patients in the comprehensive group from the First Department of Oncology, Longhua Hospital, were treated with TCM therapy and chemotherapy based on the gastric cancer treatment guidelines made by the First Department of Oncology of Longhua Hospital, and the patients in the control group from Renji Hospital and Ruijin Hospital in Shanghai were treated with chemotherapy only.
Main outcome measures

The survival time in the two groups were observed and compared. The Karnofsky score, body weight, the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Core Quality of Life Questionnaire (EORTC QLQ-C30) score, response rate and chemotherapy-related adverse events in the comprehensive group were observed.

The estimated median survival time in the comprehensive group was 16.12 months, longer than 9.64 months in the control group (P<0.05). The scores of function and symptom of EORTC QLQ-C30 in the comprehensive group decreased, while the overall health status increased, and the results indicated that the quality of life of the patients in the comprehensive group was improved. In the comprehensive group, the body weight after treatment was higher than that before treatment (P=0.037), while there was no difference in Karnofsky scores between that before and after treatment (P=0.061). All the patients in the comprehensive group were assessable. The complete response rate was 0, 3 cases had a partial response, 34 cases had stable disease, and 11 cases had disease progression. The overall response rate was 6.25% (3/48), and the disease control rate was 77.08% (37/48). No patient withdrew because of severe adverse events and there was no chemotherapy-related death.

Integrated traditional Chinese and Western medicine can prolong the survival time and improve the quality of life of advanced gastric cancer patients, and enhance the comprehensive effects.

Key words: Gastric cancer, Integrated traditional Chinese and Western medicine therapy, Survival time, Quality of life, Controlled clinical trial

Table 1

General data of the included patients"

General information Control group Comprehensive group
Gender (Male/Female) 33/14 26/22
Median age (Years) 52 52
Poorly differentiated
22 21
Signet-ring cell carcinoma 13 10
Mucinous adenocarcinoma 0 1
Moderately differentiated
2 4
Others 10 12
Liver 19 13
Pancreas 2 2
Abdominal or pelvic cavity 19 29
Celiac lymph nodes 9 13
Lung 4 0
Gallbladder 1 0
Umbilicus 0 1
Initial treatment 47 24
Retreatment 0 24

Table 2

EORTC QLQ-C30 scores in comprehensive group before and after the treatment"

Item Comprehensive group
Before treatment After treatment P
Functional subscale 8.53±2.27 7.97±2.01* 0.000
Physical function 1.49±0.33 1.54±0.30 0.154
Role function 2.04±0.88 1.85±0.82* 0.023
Emotional function 1.70±0.64 1.54±0.54* 0.000
Cognitive function 1.24±0.39 1.14±0.32* 0.024
Social function 2.04±0.98 1.91±0.89* 0.022
Global quality of life subscale 4.22±1.24 4.54±1.17* 0.012
Symptom subscale 5.65±1.86 4.88±1.37* 0.013
Fatigue 2.38±0.69 2.21±0.62* 0.030
Nausea and vomiting 1.33±0.74 1.21±0.51 0.241
Pain 1.94±0.87 1.52±0.65* 0.000
Dyspnea 1.17±0.48 1.13±0.44 0.569
Sleep disturbance 1.54±0.82 1.48±0.68 0.444
Poor appetite 2.29±1.03 1.88±0.91* 0.001
Constipation 1.16±0.82 1.13±0.39* 0.006
Diarrhea 1.17±0.52 1.19±0.49 0.785
Financial difficulty 1.96±0.82 2.31±0.80* 0.000
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