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Long-Term Effectiveness of Combined Treatment with Traditional Chinese Medicine and Western Medicine on the Prognosis of Patients with Lung Cancer


Long-Term Effectiveness of Combined Treatment with Traditional Chinese Medicine and Western Medicine on the Prognosis of Patients with Lung Cancer



Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 22(3): 212-222



ISSN/ISBN: 1075-5535

PMID: 26986673

DOI: 10.1089/acm.2015.0214

The study aim was to compare the long-term effect of Western medicine and combined treatment with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Western medicine on the prognosis (survival rate, symptom distress, physical function, and quality of life) of patients with lung cancer. Longitudinal study. Two medical centers, one each in Northern and Southern Taiwan. Patients newly diagnosed with lung cancer and treated with Western medicine (n = 54) or TCM plus Western medicine (n = 30). Symptom distress, physical function, and quality of life were measured by using the Symptom Distress Scale, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group-Performance Status Rating, and European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaires (EORTC QLQ-C30 and EORTC QLQ-LC13), respectively. Data on these measures were collected at baseline (before treatment) and 1, 3, 6, and 12 months after starting treatment. Survival was estimated by Kaplan-Meier curves. Group differences in outcomes were analyzed by generalized estimating equations. Treatment groups did not differ significantly at baseline for demographic information; disease severity; symptom distress; or EORTC QLQ-C30 and QLQ-LC13 scores, except for pain and dyspnea. After adjustment for these baseline effects, the combined-treatment group had better physical function and role function than the Western medicine group at 6 months (p < 0.05). The combined treatment group had better cumulative survival, but this difference did not reach significance. To more precisely estimate the long-term effectiveness of combined treatment on the prognosis of patients with lung cancer, future studies should standardize the number of TCM visits; increase the number of participants by continuous recruitment; and ask patients to complete daily logs with single-item measures of outcomes, such as symptom distress, quality of life, and physical function. Similar studies are suggested in patients with different cancers to develop a collaborative model using Western medicine and TCM.

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Accession: 058230987

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