Lung cancer, a rapid and uncontrolled growth in tissues of the lung, is the leading cause of death in both men and women worldwide.
At the time of diagnosis, approximately 80% of patients present with advanced lung cancer for whom curative therapy is not available. Radiotherapy, chemotherapy and targeted therapy are the main treatment for advanced lung cancer. However, the control of disease with this cumulative therapy at an advanced stage is generally limited to a few months for many reasons. Therefore, the therapeutic effects of chemotherapy is a major problem that needs significant consideration.
TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) as maintenance therapy refers to a systemic treatment given to patients with advanced lung cancer after four to six cycles of chemotherapy. In recent years, maintenance therapy has become a new treatment strategy aimed at achieving a reduction in tumor size and relieving tumor-related symptoms as opposed to conventional chemotherapy, which mainly targets the death of tumor cells.
To test the effectiveness of this therapy, a study was conducted in six hospitals. 294 cases of advanced lung cancer were divided into two different groups; TCM Group (maintenance therapy + chemotherapy) and chemotherapy group. The duration of this study was 355 days and 292 days respectively.
The study reveals that the maintenance therapy shows an advantage in the treatment of advanced lung cancer. It can be combined with chemotherapy and radiation therapy that relieves side effects, improve short-term therapeutic effects, stable disease and reduce the incidence rate. For patients who cannot accept surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy, traditional Chinese medicine can reduce pain, improve symptoms and improve the quality of life. So TCM shows a significant role in the comprehensive treatment of advanced lung cancer.
Weiru Xu, Guowang Yang, Yongmei Xu, Qing Zhang, Qi Fu, Jie Yu, Mingwei Yu, Wenshuo Zhao, Zhong Yang, Fengshan Hu, Dong Han, and Xiaomin Wang. The Possibility of Traditional Chinese Medicine as Maintenance Therapy for Advanced Nonsmall Cell Lung Cancer. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 278917, Link