To evaluate the influence of fewer courses and prolonged intervals of chemotherapy on survival rate of advanced non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients treated by sequential chemo-radiation therapy combined with traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).
From Jan.2000 to Dec.2001, 54 untreated advanced NSCLC patients (2 stage Ⅲa, 18 stage Ⅲb, 34 stage Ⅳ) were treated by sequential chemo-radiation therapy combined with TCM. The courses of chemotherapy were reduced and the intervals of chemotherapy were longer than that of the standard regimen. The efficacy and survival rate were documented and the prognostic factors were analyzed.
Complete remission (CR) was observed in 1 case and partial remission (PR) in 20 cases. The overall objective response rate was 40.4%. Median survival was 15.3 months, 1-, 2- and 3- year survival rate were 53.7%, 28.9% and 9.6% respectively. The median survival of stage Ⅲ and Ⅳ were 21.8 months and 12.5 months respectively. The 1-, 2-, and 3- year survival rates of stage Ⅲ were 65.0%,49.5%, 24.7% and that of stage Ⅳ were 47.0%, 23.3%, 0%, respectively. The quality of life was improved in most of the patients. Cox's proportional hazards regression showed that improved quality of life and treatment of TCM were the significant prognostic factors of overall survival.
Chemotherapy and radiotherapy combined with TCM is beneficial to extending the interval of chemotherapy, improving the quality of life, and increasing the survival rate of advanced NSCLC patients.