- Open Access
Traditional Chinese medicines in the treatment of hepatocellular cancers: a systematic review and meta-analysis
© Wu et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2009
Received: 6 July 2009
Accepted: 12 August 2009
Published: 12 August 2009
Liver cancer is a common malignancy with a high mortality rate. Given the poor prognosis associated with this cancer, many patients seek additional therapies that may improve quality of life or survival. Several Traditional Chinese Medicines (TCM) have been evaluated in clinical trials, but little is known about them outside of China.
We searched independently and in duplicate 8 electronic databases, including 2 Chinese language databases, until February 2009. We included any randomized clinical trials (RCT) evaluating a TCM oral preparation for the treatment of hepatocellular cancers. We abstracted data on survival, tumor response, and performance scores. We conducted a random-effects meta-analysis and applied a meta-regression analysis.
We included 45 RCTs (n = 3,236). All studies employed an active control group. In general, the reporting of methodological issues was poor. We analyzed data from 37 trials reporting on complete response effects score (Relative Risk [RR] of 1.26 (95 CI, 1.04–1.52, P = 0.01, I2 = 0%, P = 0.99). Products containing ginseng, astragalus and mylabris had a larger treatment effect (OR 1.34, 95% CI, 1.04–1.71, P = 0.01) than the pooled broad estimate, also the case for astragalus-based treatments (OR 1.35, 95% CI, 1.001–1.80. P = 0.048). We examined survival rates and pooled 15 studies reporting on 6 month outcomes (RR 1.10, 95% CI, 1.04–1.15, P = < 0.0001, I2 = 0%, P = 0.60). This effect was consistent at other prospective dates, including 12 months (22 trials, RR 1.26, 95% CI, 1.17–1.36, P = < 0.0001, I2 = 7%, P = 0.36), 24 months (15 trials, 1.72, 95% CI, 1.40–2.03, P = < 0.0001, I2 = 0%, P = 0.75); and, at 36 months (8 trials, RR 2.40, 95% CI, 1.65–3.49, P = < 0.0001, I2 = 0%, P = 0.62).
All included trials were conducted in China where emerging evidence suggests many RCTs are not, in fact, randomized. Publication bias may exist, favouring positive reports.
Our meta-analysis displays compelling evidence of effectiveness for hepatocellular cancers that should be evaluated in high-quality and transparent clinical trials.
Worldwide, liver cancer is the fifth most common malignancy in men and the eighth in women. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), liver cancer is a major health problem and its incidence is increasing. In the United States alone, it is estimated that there will be 22,620 new cases and 18,160 deaths related to liver cancer in 2009.
The major risk factor for liver cancer is the presence of cirrhosis of the liver, largely due to chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) and hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. It is believed that the combined effects of these infections account for well over 80% of liver cancer cases worldwide. Through HBV vaccines and screening of blood and blood products for HBV and HCV, primary liver cancer is the first human cancer largely amenable to prevention.
With respect to treatment, the plan depends on a number of factors, including the extent of the disease, growth pattern of the tumour and hepatic functional reserve of the patient. In cases of localized resectable liver tumours, standard treatment is surgical resection (partial hepatectomy) in patients without liver cirrhosis and surgical resection or liver transplantation in patients with liver cirrhosis. In cases of localized non-resectable liver tumours, the standard treatment of total hepatectomy with liver transplantation is considered first followed by other options, including chemoembolization, percutaneous ethanol injection, radiofrequency ablation, inclusion in clinical trials or systemic chemotherapy (anthracyclines, cisplatin and 5-FU). Systematic chemotherapy, however, is reported to have a 10% response rate and no survival benefit. In cases of advanced liver tumours, there is no established standard of care.
Given the poor prognosis associated with some liver cancers and limited treatment options outside of surgery, patients may seek alternative treatments, including traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) products, alone or in combination with standard of care. The purpose of this study is to systematically review and meta-analyze data from randomized clinical trials (RCTs) for evidence on the efficacy of TCM products in the treatment of liver cancer.
Search strategy, trials selection, and data retrieval
To be eligible for inclusion in our systematic review, studies had to have enrolled adult patients (>18 years) with liver cancer. The patients had to be randomly allocated to an active TCM formulation treatment or a control group with either placebo or no treatment. In addition, any co-intervention had to be the same in both groups except for the TCM formulation. We excluded studies that reported only laboratory values rather than clinical responses. We also excluded direct comparisons of TCM formulations.
PW and EM worked independently, in duplicate, searching the following English electronic databases: MEDLINE (1966–February 2009), AMED (1985–February 2009), Alt Health Watch (1995–February 2009), CINAHL (1982–February 2009), Nursing and Allied Health Collection: Basic (1985–February 2009), Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (2008). In addition, PW, and YL, fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese, searched the Chinese database CNKI (1979–February 2009) and Wan Fang (1994–February 2009) independently. No language restrictions were placed on the searches.
Three reviewers (PW, EM and JL) assessed eligibility based on the full text papers and conducted data extraction, independently, using a standard pre-piloted form. Disagreements were resolved by consensus or by a third reviewer. If the required information was not available in the published article, we obtained additional information in correspondence with the authors. We included all evaluated outcome measures including: disease stage, Karnofsky performace (KP), the Child-Pugh score and the response evaluation criteria in solid tumors (RECIST). The response is categorized as complete response (CR), partial response (PR) outcomes, stable disease (SD), progressive disease (PD) and as CR + PR as a proportion for response rate (RR). We additionally examined survival rates by group according to 6, 12, 18, 24, 36 and 60-month survival rates, where reported.
In addition, we extracted data on trial quality, protocol, and outcomes assessed. We assessed quality through the reporting of the following criteria: sequence generation, allocation concealment, reporting of who was blinded, adequate descriptions of patient withdrawal, language of publication, and exposure to chemotherapy. We also noted the language in which the paper was written and the setting the studies were conducted. These criteria were not used for weighting covariates in the meta-analysis; instead, these were considered a priori explanations for study heterogeneity.
We applied the Relative Risk and 95% Confidence Intervals as our primary effect measure in this analysis. For analysis examining response and survival, favourable results for the TCM intervention are in the direction greater than 1. In circumstances of zero outcome events in either arm of a trial, we used the Haldane method and added 1 to each arm, as suggested by Sheehe. We first pooled studies on all interventions versus all controls using the DerSimonian-Laird random effects method. This method recognizes and anchors studies as a sample of all potential studies, and incorporates an additional between-study component to the estimate of variability. We calculated the I2 statistic for each analysis as a measure of the proportion of the overall variation that is attributable to between-study heterogeneity. Forest plots are displayed for the primary analysis, showing individual study effect measures with 95% CIs and the overall DerSimmonian-Laird pooled estimate. We conducted a meta-regression analysis using the unrestricted maximum likelihood method to determine if the a priori covariates of TCM formulation yielded differing effects. We examined publication bias visually and through the Begg-Mazumdar, Egger, and Horbold-Egger tests. We calculated the optimal information size (OIS) required to determine adequate power across trials. We used Stats Direct and Comprehensive Meta-Analysis (Version 2) for all statistical procedures. All p-values are 2-sided and a p-value < 0.05 was considered significant. PW and EM conducted the analysis.
Our extensive searching yielded 130 titles and/or abstracts, of which 54 were found likely to be relevant. Nine of the full text articles reviewed were excluded for one of two reasons: 1) either the study was not randomized; 2) TCM was the control intervention 3)study was duplicated.
Characteristics of included studies
The 45 RCTs included 3,236 patients, 1,682 in the treatment groups and 1,554 in the control groups (See Additional file 1 and 2). Most trials were small and the median intervention group size was 32 (interquartile range [IQR] 30–42) and control group size is 31 (IQR 30–38). The majority of trials (24)[9, 12, 13, 15–18, 25, 27, 29, 30, 32, 34–36, 40, 46, 47, 49–54] included patients with stage II or more advanced cancers. Additional file 1 displays the study characteristics and formulations along with the TCM philosophy for the preparation. All studies employed transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) as adjunct therapy. No placebo was used as the control group in any study.
The TCM interventions identified in this study were principally combinations of different herbal medicines or animal/insect extracts (Additional file 1). A brief outline on the oncologic and immunologic pharmacology of the most commonly used ingredients is presented below.
Astragalus appears to have a number of immunomodulatory properties [55–57]. Astragalus appears to have anti-tumour activity where its potentiates LAK cell activity in vitro when used in combination with IL-2. Astragalus appears to restore in vitro T-cell function, which is suppressed in cancer patients.
Panax ginseng and its chemical constituents were found to have inhibitory effects on putative carcinogenesis mechanisms, e.g., cell proliferation and apoptosis, immunosurveillance and angiogenesis. Ginsenosides from Panax ginseng have been shown to inhibit tumor cell invasion and to suppress sister chromatid exchanges in human lymphocytes.
Toad skin secretions (bufotoxin)
The toad skin secretion bufalin was found to induce apoptosis in human-leukemia cells by altering expression of apoptotic genes c-myc and bcl-2. Other toad skin secretions like 3-formyloxyresibufogenin, 19-oxobufalin, 19-oxodesacetylcinobufagin, 6-hydroxycinobufagin and 1-hydroxybufalin were found to exert inhibitory effects on KB, HL-60 and MH-60 cancer cell lines.
Beetle extracts (Mylabris)
An extract from Mylabris phaleratais, the dried body of the Chinese blister beetle, was shown to have anti-cancer activity via inducing cancer cell apoptosis and was associated with little toxicity.
Atractylodes appears to have anticancer activity by inducing apoptosis and cytotoxic effects against leukemia and other cancer cell lines.
Saikosaponins from Bupleurum falcatum were shown to exhibit potent anti-cell adhesive activity on solid tumour cells and to have strong hemolytic action.
Curcuma longa may have immunostimulatory activity.
Several studies reported on improvement of symptoms. In particular, 6 studies[13, 15, 23, 29, 44, 68] reported on abdominal pain improvements favouring TCM approaches (RR 1.50, 95% CI, 1.09–2.07, P = 0.013, I244%, P = 0.11). Abdominal distension did not improve among TCM recipients in 5 reported trials8,18,24,39,50 (RR 1.26, 95% CI, 0.96–1.64, P = 0.09, I2 = 4%, P = 0.38). Fatigue significantly improved in 4 reported trials8,18,24,39, (RR 1.54, 95% CI, 1.17–2.01, P = 0.001, I2 = 0%, P = 0.87), and appetite improved in 4 reported trials8,18,24,39, (RR 1.53, 95% CI, 1.14–2.05, P = 0.004, I2 = 0%, P = 0.45).
Optimal Information Size (OIS)
Almost all trials included in our analysis were small. We applied OIS based on the event rate in the intervention and control arms for the PR outcome. We found an event rate of 0.42 in the intervention arms and an event rate of 0.33 in the control arms. When applying 80% power and a two-tailed 5% alpha, we identify that we require at least 906 participants in our meta-analysis.
We assessed publication bias visually with a funnel plot and applied several statistical tests to determine the likelihood of publication bias. We found no vidence when applying the Begg-Mazumdar test (P = 0.14), Egger's test (P = 0.80) or Horbold-Egger's test (P = 0.89). We also imputed the number of studies that were likely missing, but the resulting number was unconcerning (n = 2) and was unlikely to change the effect estimate.
We found consistent effects of traditional Chinese medicines when combined with TACE versus TACE alone. The majority of studies included in our analysis were small or of moderate size and none can provide definitive answers on treatment options, although compelling results related to bufotoxin, astragalus and products containing ginseng, astragalus and mylabris warrant further examination. Our study also highlights the utility that searching in non-English languages may have on identifying potentially useful new interventions for common diseases. While our study finds compelling results, there is also reason for caution, given the poor reporting of clinical trials in China. Only independently conducted research from high-quality research teams will strengthen the inference of effectiveness.
Strengths of our study include our extensive searches of literature in both English and in Chinese languages, and using Chinese language databases for our search. Two of us (PW, JL) understand and read Mandarin and Cantonese, along with English, thus allowing searches across several languages. We applied a broad criteria for pooling studies. We included any TCM formulation and then conducted a meta-regression analysis to determine if specific preparation yielded differing effects over the broad group, and in several cases did.
Limitations of our study include the underlying concern about the quality of the included studies. As we highlight, the majority of studies were small, with typically 30 participants per arm. Meta-analysis aims to overcome issues of power through pooling, thus increasing sample size and power. We applied an OIS on the overall event rate of partial response and found that a pooled sample size of 1,108 provided sufficient evidence of an effect. This did not apply to specific formulations. We further assessed issues of methodological rigour as two major concerns with Chinese-based clinical trials. Firstly, is that only positive trials are published in Chinese medical journals, and second, is that some trials reported as randomized are, in fact, not randomized. A recent evaluation by Wu et al. found that many studies labelled as RCTs with Chinese journals were, in fact, not randomized In our own experience, we recognize many Chinese clinical trialists have not been exposed to appropriate clinical epidemiology training. We examined publication bias through both visual inspection of the funnel plot on the primary outcome (PR) and through statistical tests, but were unable to identify publication bias. However, funnel plots cannot rule out publication bias and we remain cautious that many negative trials likely exist.
From a clinical standpoint, the results of this study are very encouraging but should be implemented with caution. The average clinician will be reassured that TCM interventions, both herbal-based and animal/insect-based, were safely combined with chemotherapy. The average clinician, however, likely will not scrutinize the results of this study using evidence-based principles and may implement our findings into practice due to the overwhelming positive response in our meta-analysis. Given this tendency, the results from this study should be carefully disseminated to the medical community with the caveat that although promising, our findings need to be confirmed via a RCT conducted in a Western academic setting.
Our study may prove useful for a number of reasons. Firstly, there is reason to further examine the evidence of several of the interventions included in our analysis. Other investigators have examined the role of herbal medicines and TCM interventions for hepatocellular cancers, lung cancers and hepatitis and found compelling evidence in humans [72–75] However, perhaps a far more important finding from our analysis and approach is the role that searching for clinical trials in non-English languages may play in drug discovery. Important first line drugs, such as artemisin-based therapies for malaria, have been discovered through searching existing trials in non-English languages. 
There have now been two studies prior to ours that examined the role of TCM interventions on survival and clinical outcomes in patients also receiving TACE. [72, 75] The first study, by Shu et al, published in 2005, included 26 RCTs of interventions including 2079 patients. Similar to ours, they found improved survival at 12 months [RR 1.55, 95% CI, 1.39–1.72], at 24 months [RR 2.15, 95% CI, 1.75–2.64], and at 36 months [RR, 2.76, 95% CI, 1.95–3.91]. Tumor response was also significantly increased [RR 1.39, 95% CI, 1.24–1.56]. A more recent study, published in 2009 by Cho and Chen,  included 30 studies including 2428 patients. As with ours, they found increased survval at 12 months [OR 1.92, 95% CI, 1.43–2.57], at 24 months [OR 3.55, 95% CI, 2.36–5.36], and at 36 months [OR 5.12, 95% CI, 2.76–9.52]. The inflated effect sizes found in the study by Cho and Chen may be related to their choice of effect size of OR rather than the more conservative RR((( Given that all three reviews found compelling evidence of a role for TCM in hepatocellular cancers, it seems appropriate that further evaluations, in a non-Chinese setting, occur in order to determine if we have a possible new opportunity for drug development.
Our study builds on the findings of others about the heterogeneous quality of randomized trials from China. In our own experience in China, we have doubts that many methodological features attributed to randomized trials, were in fact conducted. A previous analysis, by Vickers et al, found that most trials conducted in China were reported as positive, a finding our analysis also supports8. While several explanations for this phenomenon exist, a likely explanation is the slow uptake of evidence-based medicine and clinical trials methodology in academic research centres With the opening of the Chinese Cochrane Centre, we hope that clinical epidemiology will receive considerably more attention
In conclusion, our study provides important inferences about new potential therapeutic options for hepatocellular cancers. While these finds are compelling, there is a need for confirmation of these studies in well-conducted RCTs conducted in Western settings. Until such time, potentially useful interventions cannot be wholly recommended based on evidence alone.
This study was supported by an educational and research grant from The Lotte and John Hecht Memorial Foundation. We appreciate the assistance of JY Liang (JL).
- Bosch FX, Ribes J, Díaz M, Cléries R: Primary liver cancer: worldwide incidence and trends. Gastroenterology. 2004, 127: S5-S16. 10.1053/j.gastro.2004.09.011.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- World Health Organization Mortality database. [http://www.who.int/whosis/en/]
- American Cancer Scociety: Cancer Facts and Figures. [http://www.cancer.org/downloads/STT/500809web.pdf]
- Gomaa AI, Khan SA, Leen ELS, Waked I, Taylor-Robinson SD: Diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma. World J Gastroenterol. 2009, 15: 1301-1314. 10.3748/wjg.15.1301.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Parikh P, Malhotra H, Jelic S, Group. EGW: Hepatocellular carcinoma: ESMO clinical recommendations for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up. Ann Oncol. 2008, 19: 27-28. 10.1093/annonc/mdn114.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Sheehe PR: Combination of log relative risk in retrospective studies of disease. Am J Public Health Nations Health. 1966, 56: 1745-1750.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Fleiss JL: The statistical basis of meta-analysis. Stat Methods Med Res. 1993, 2: 121-145. 10.1177/096228029300200202.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Higgins JP, Thompson SG: Quantifying heterogeneity in a meta-analysis. Stat Med. 2002, 21: 1539-1558. 10.1002/sim.1186.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Bai GD, Liang ZP, Huang JP, Hou EC: A clinical analysis on the therapeutic effect of integrative medicine therapy on primary middle and advanced stage cancer treatment. Jiangsu Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine . 2008, 40 (8): 27-29.Google Scholar
- Cao GW, Wang XC, Zhang FL, Ning HF, Sun YQ, Yan LF: Clinical Observation of Ganfukang capsule combined with TACE in primary liver cancer treatment. Shandong Medical Journal. 2005, 45 (2): 13-14.Google Scholar
- Cao MR, Tang HL: Clinical study of Ai Di injection combined with transcatheter arterial chemoembolization in treatment of middle and advanced stage liver cancer. Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine. 2003, 23 (9): 713-714.Google Scholar
- Chen C, Zhou JG, Huang HC, Ruan SH, Zhang QS: Hepatic artery lipiodol infusion chemotherapy combined with Pei Yuan Gu Ben Kang Ai capsule in the treatment of 42 cases of mid- and late-stage hepatocellular carcinoma. Chinese Journal of Integrated Traditional and Western Medicine on Liver Diseases. 2001, 11 (3): 183-184.Google Scholar
- Feng J: TCM combined with interventional therapy in 35 cases of primary liver cancer. Journal of Guangxi Traditional Chinese Medical University. 2002, 151 (13): 51-52.Google Scholar
- Guo TS, Huang FX, Cao XL: Jew Ear Parasitized Granula combined with TACE on Hepatocellular Carcinoma. Chinese Journals of Practical Medicine. 2005, 21 (16): 1846-1847.Google Scholar
- Li DJ, Xu X, Bao D, Xue F, Dai DL: Effects of kanglaite capsules combined with transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) on patients with mid or late-stage primary hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Chinese-German Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2009, 8 (2): 65-68. 10.1007/s10330-008-0142-8.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Li M: Chinese herbal compound combined with TACE in primary liver cancer treatment. Clinical Research. 2007, 3 (31): 40-41.Google Scholar
- Li Q, Sun BM, Peng YH, Fan ZZ, Jue S: Clinical Study on the Treatment of Primary Liver Cancer by Cinobufotain Combined with Transcatheter Arterial Chemoembolization. ACTA UNIVERSITATIS TRADITIONIS MEDICALIS SINENSIS PHARMACOLOGIAEQUE SHANGHAI. 2008, 22 (2): 32-34.Google Scholar
- Li QM, Zhao YL: Qining injection combined with Interventional therapy in liver cancer treatment. Journal of Cancer Control and Treatment. 2003, 16 (3): 160-161.Google Scholar
- Li RP: Clinical Observation of Ai Di Injection combined with transarterial chemembolization in primary liver treatment. Central Plains Medical Journal. 2005, 32 (24): 69-Google Scholar
- Li YJ, Wang XP, Liu J: Clinical observation of Injectio Cinobu Facini combined with TACE on middle and advanced stage liver cancer. World Clinical Drugs. 2006, 27 (5): 304-306.Google Scholar
- Lin J: Fuzhen detoxification decoction combined with TACE in primary liver cancer treatment. Hubei Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 2008, 20 (2): 30-31.Google Scholar
- Lin ZD, Liu K, et al: Analysis on the Prognostic Factors in Patients with Large Hepatocarcinoma Treated by Shentao Ruangan Pill and Hydroxycamptothecine. Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine. 2005, 25 (1): 8-11.Google Scholar
- Liu XL, Zhu XQ: Clinical Observation of Yan Shu in liver cancer treatment. Journal of Ningxia Medical College. 2002, 24 (2): 105-106.Google Scholar
- Xiao GH: Clinical Study of Aidi Injection Combined with Transcather Hepatic Arterial Chemoembolization in the Treatment of Primary Liver Cancer. Cancer Research on Prevention and Treatment. 2005, 32 (5): 313-314.Google Scholar
- Tian HQ, Liang GW, Tao Y, Huang ZQ, Yu SY, Ye WY: Clinical Study of TCM combined with Interventional therapy in Liver cancer Treatment. Journal of Henan college of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 2001, 16 (1): 47-48.Google Scholar
- Tian XY: Ai Yi Shu injection combined with chemoembolization on middle and advanced stage liver cancer. Central Plains Medical Journal. 2006, 33 (6): 32-34.Google Scholar
- Wang HZ: Clinical Observation on Effect of Comprehensive Immunotherapy in Treating Hepatic Carcinoma after Embolism Chemotherapy. Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine. 1998, 18 (7): 411-413.Google Scholar
- Wang QP, Shi ZY, Jiang ZG, Guo XY: Effectiveness evaluation of TACE combined with Ai Di injection on middle and advanced stage liver cancer treatment. Clinical Focus. 2006, 21 (8): 580-581.Google Scholar
- Wang YC: Clinical observation on treatment of primary liver cancer with ganji granule combined with tace. Journal OF Anhui TCM Coll Ege. 2002, 21 (6): 9-11.Google Scholar
- Wang YZ, Yao SK, Gao LM, Li ZG, Gao TS: Effect on immune function in patient with primary liver cancer treated with Qing Gan Hua Yu liquid treatment. Chinese Journal of Gerontology. 2008, 28: 770-771.Google Scholar
- Wang ZX, Wu XH, Chen SQ: Fu Zheng Hua Ji Jie Du Fang and hepatic artery infusion chemotherapy in treatment of primary hepatocellular carcinoma. Henan Traditional Chinese Medicine. 2001, 21 (6): 48-49.Google Scholar
- Wen Han Yin PY: Traditional-western Combined Treatment on on middle and advanced stage liver cancer, analysis of 32 cases. Shan Xi TCM. 2006, 27 (1): 26-28.Google Scholar
- Hen Wen, Zhen Jia, Qu ZP, Jun Lu: Internal and External Medicine combined with TACE in primary cancer treatment. Journal of Sichuan of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 2008, 26 (4): 59-60.Google Scholar
- Wu JX: Observation of long-term effectiveness of Yi Guan Jian Jia Wei combined with TACE in the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma. Zhejiang Journal of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine. 1999, 9 (2): 100-101.Google Scholar
- Wu WG, Guo WJ, Lin JH: Pingxiao capsule combined with Transcather Hepatic Arterial Chemoembolization in 25 cases of Primary Liver Cancer Treatment. Chinese Journal of Integrated Traditional and Western Medicine on Liver Diseases. 2001, 11 (1): 50-51.Google Scholar
- Wu Xiao-dong JX, Wang YD, Liu SM: Observation of Hu Gan Ruan Jian Fang in increasing effectiveness and reducing toxicity of hepatic artery chemoembolization in stage II and II hepatocellular carcinoma. Journal of Beijing University of TCM. 2003, 26 (1): 67-68.Google Scholar
- Xing De-bing XJ, Dong Wang, Ge Wang, Zhong ZY, Li ZP: Clinical study of De lisheng injection combined with transcatheter arterial chemoembolization in treatment of primary hepatocellular carcinoma. Modern Oncology. 2006, 14 (7): 861-862.Google Scholar
- Xu ZW, Zhou RY, et al: Appl ication of Modified Six Nobles Decoction in In tervention Therapy of Primary Liver Cancer. Zhejiang Journal of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine. 2000, 10 (12): 712-713.Google Scholar
- Yang JM: Transcatheter Hepatic Arter ial Chemoembolization and Aidi Injection in Treanment of Hepatocellular Carcinoma. Journal of Medical Forum. 2006, 127 (120): 26-27.Google Scholar
- Yi JZ, Xie YC, Deng XH: Clinical observationon the effect of Kang'a i injection combined with transcatheter arterial chemoembolization on hepatocellular carcinoma in 36 patients. Tumor. 2008, 28 (11): 997-1000.Google Scholar
- Yu MZ: Injectio Cinobu Facini combined with TACE on middle and advanced stage liver cancer. Journal of Guangxi Traditional Chinese Medical University. 2004, 171 (13): 35-37.Google Scholar
- Ling Zhang, Cui SZ, Liu CL, Chen WP, Huang ZY: Observation on the long-term efficacy of Qingganjiedusanjie decoction combined with interventional therapy for primary liver cancer. Chinese Journal of Primary Medicine and Pharmacy. 2005, 12 (8): 1010-1011.Google Scholar
- Zhang Cai-qing CQ, Liang TJ, Yu MB: Clinical study of combination therapy of Jinlong capsule and chemical therapy and embolization by hepatic artery catheterization on primary hepatic carcinoma. Beijing Medical Journal. 2005, 27 (6): 357-359.Google Scholar
- Zhang SY, Geng NY, Liu YE, Jiang W, Jiang WF: Clinical study of hepatic artery infusion chemotherapy combined with AC-III injection in the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma. Information on Traditional Chinese Medicine. 1996, 4: 29-31.Google Scholar
- Zhang YM, Peng YX, Guan HZ: Shanxian Granula combined with interventional therapy in liver cancer treatment. Journal of Shaanxi College of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 2005, 28 (3): 31-32.Google Scholar
- Zhang Yu-fang JZ, Mi QY, Li PW: TCM combined with TACE on middle and advanced stage liver cancer treatment. Chinese Journal of Surgery of Integrated Traditional and Western Medicine. 2000, 6 (3): 179-180.Google Scholar
- Zhang YQ: Clinical experience of TCM combined with TACE in primary cancer treatment. Journal Of New Medicine. 2008, 5 (4): 601-602.Google Scholar
- Zhao HR, Mai NS, Yong BX: Short-term efficacy observation of Jew Ear Parasitized Granula combined with interventional therapy in primary liver cancer treatment. Xinjiang Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 2004, 22 (5): 27-28.Google Scholar
- Zhao HK: Shen Qi capsule combined with interventional therapy in Hepatocellular Carcinoma. Acta Chinese Medicine and Pharmacology. 2005, 133 (13): 28-29.Google Scholar
- Zhou BG, Huang YN, Jing SH, Li WC: To Treat Advanced stage liver cancer with Pinxiao capsule combined with hepatic transcatheter artery chemoembolization. Shaanxi Oncology Medicine. 1999, 7 (3): 159-161.Google Scholar
- Zhou BG, Sun JZ, Jing SH, Fan YZ, Yun-ning H: Observation of combined Chinese and Western medicine in the treatment of 26 cases of mid- and late-stage hepatocellular carcinoma. Journal of New Chinese Medicine. 2002, 34 (11): 37-38.Google Scholar
- Zhou JS, Lu H, Wu XD, Xu X: Effects of huachan-shu injection combind with transcatheter arterial chemoembolization on patients with advanced unresectable hepatocelluler carcinoma. Chinese Journal of Primary Medicine and Pharmacy. 2006, 13 (4): 571-572.Google Scholar
- Zhu XF: The Clinical Observation of the Effect of Kanlaite Injection Combined with Chemoembolization Primary on Middle and Advanced Stage Liver Cancer. Journal of Basic and Clinical Oncology. 2006, 119 (12): 132-134.Google Scholar
- Lin YZ, Zhou DH, Liu K: Analysis on the Prognostic Factors in Patients with Large Hepatocarcinoma Treated by Shentao Ruangan Pill and Hydroxycamptothecine. Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine. 2005, 25 (1): 8-11.Google Scholar
- Chu DT, Wong WL, Mavligit GM: Immunotherapy with Chinese medicinal herbs. II. Reversal of cyclophosphamide-induced immune suppression by administration of fractionated Astragalus membranaceus in vivo. J Clin Lab Immunol. 1988, 25: 125-129.Google Scholar
- Shao BM, Xu W, Dai H, Tu P, Li Z, Gao XM: A study on the immune receptors for polysaccharides from the roots of Astragalus membranaceus, a Chinese medicinal herb. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2004, 320: 1103-1111. 10.1016/j.bbrc.2004.06.065.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Sun Y, Hersh EM, Lee SL, McLaughlin M, Loo TL, Mavligit GM: Preliminary observations on the effects of the Chinese medicinal herbs Astragalus membranaceus and Ligustrum lucidum on lymphocyte blastogenic responses. J Biol Response Mod. 1983, 2: 227-237.Google Scholar
- Chu DT, Lepe-Zuniga J, Wong WL, LaPushin R, Mavligit GM: Fractionated extract of Astragalus membranaceus, a Chinese medicinal herb, potentiates LAK cell cytotoxicity generated by a low dose of recombinant interleukin-2. J Clin Lab Immunol. 1988, 26: 183-187.Google Scholar
- Chu DT, Wong WL, Mavligit GM: Immunotherapy with Chinese medicinal herbs. I. Immune restoration of local xenogeneic graft-versus-host reaction in cancer patients by fractionated Astragalus membranaceus in vitro. J Clin Lab Immunol. 1988, 25: 119-123.Google Scholar
- Shin HR, Kim JY, Yun TK, Morgan G, Vainio H: The cancer-preventive potential of Panax ginseng: a review of human and experimental evidence. Cancer Causes Control. 2000, 11: 565-576. 10.1023/A:1008980200583.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Keum YS, Park KK, Lee JM, Chun KS, Park JH, Lee SK, Kwon H, Surh YJ: Antioxidant and anti-tumor promoting activities of the methanol extract of heat-processed ginseng. Cancer Lett. 2000, 150: 41-48. 10.1016/S0304-3835(99)00369-9.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Jing Y, Ohizumi H, Kawazoe N, Hashimoto S, Masuda Y, Nakajo S, Yoshida T, Kuroiwa Y, Nakaya K: Selective inhibitory effect of bufalin on growth of human tumor cells in vitro: association with the induction of apoptosis in leukemia HL-60 cells. Jpn J Cancer Res. 1994, 85: 645-651.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Nogawa T, Kamano Y, Yamashita A, Pettit GR: Isolation and Structure of Five New Cancer Cell Growth Inhibitory Bufadienolides from the Chinese Traditional Drug Ch'an Su. J Nat prod. 2001, 64: 1148-1152. 10.1021/np0101088.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Huh JE, Kang KS, Ahn KS, Kim DH, Saiki I, Kim SH: Mylabris phalerlata induces apoptosis by caspase activation following cytochrome c release and Bid cleavage. Life Sci. 2003, 73: 2249-2262. 10.1016/S0024-3205(03)00568-X.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Wang CC, Chen LG, Yang LL: Cytotoxic activity of sesquiterpenoids from Atractylodes ovata on leukemia cell lines. Planta Med. 2002, 68: 204-208. 10.1055/s-2002-23144.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Ahn BZ, Yoon YD, Lee YH, Kim BH, Sok DE: Inhibitory effect of bupleuri radix saponins on adhesion of some solid tumor cells and relation to hemolytic action: screening of 232 herbal drugs for anti-cell adhesion. Planta Med. 1998, 64: 220-224. 10.1055/s-2006-957413.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Antony S, Kuttan R, Kuttan G: Immunomodulatory activity of curcumin. Immunol Invest. 1999, 28: 291-303. 10.3109/08820139909062263.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Xiang De-bing XJ, Wang D, Wang G, Zhong WZ, Li ZP: Clinical study of De lisheng injection combined with transcatheter arterial chemoembolization in treatment of primary hepatocellular carcinoma. Modern Oncology. 2006, 14 (7): 861-862.Google Scholar
- Zhang CJ, Liang TJ, Yu MB: Clinical study of combination therapy of Jinlong capsule and chemical therapy and embolization by hepatic artery catheterization on primary hepatic carcinoma. Beijing Medical Journal. 2005, 27 (6): 357-359.Google Scholar
- Cao LW, Wang XC, Zhang FL, Ning HF, Sun YQ, Yan LF: Clinical Observation of Ganfukang capsule combined with TACE in primary liver cancer treatment. Shandong Medical Journal. 2005, 45 (2): 13-14.Google Scholar
- Wu T, Li Y, Bian Z, Liu G, Moher D: Randomized trials published in some Chinese journals: how many are randomized?. Trials. 2009, 10: 46-10.1186/1745-6215-10-46.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Shu X, McCulloch M, Xiao H, Broffman M, Gao J: Chinese herbal medicine and chemotherapy in the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Integrative cancer therapies. 2005, 4: 219-229. 10.1177/1534735405279927.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- McCulloch M, See C, Shu XJ, Broffman M, Kramer A, Fan WY, Gao J, Lieb W, Shieh K, Colford JM: Astragalus-based Chinese herbs and platinum-based chemotherapy for advanced non-small-cell lung cancer: meta-analysis of randomized trials. J Clin Oncol. 2006, 24: 419-430. 10.1200/JCO.2005.03.6392.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- McCulloch M, Broffman M, Gao J, Colford JM: Chinese herbal medicine and interferon in the treatment of chronic hepatitis B: a meta-analysis of randomized, controlled trials. American journal of public health. 2002, 92: 1619-1628. 10.2105/AJPH.92.10.1619.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Cho WC, Chen HY: Transcatheter arterial chemoembolization combined with or without Chinese herbal therapy for hepatocellular carcinoma: meta-analysis. Expert opinion on investigational drugs. 2009, 18: 617-635. 10.1517/13543780902855308.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Pittler MH, Ernst E: Artemether for severe malaria: a meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. Clin Infect Dis. 1999, 28: 597-601. 10.1086/515148.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Altman DG, Deeks JJ, Sackett DL: Odds ratios should be avoided when events are common. BMJ (Clinical research ed). 1998, 317: 1318-View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Vickers A, Goyal N, Harland R, Rees R: Do certain countries produce only positive results? A systematic review of controlled trials. Controlled clinical trials. 1998, 19: 159-166. 10.1016/S0197-2456(97)00150-5.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Li J, Xu L, Zhang MM, Ai CL, Wang L: Chinese authors do need CONSORT: reporting quality for five leading Chinese medical journals. Cochrane Colloquium, Freiberg October P80. 2008Google Scholar
- Tang JL, Liu BY, Ma KW: Traditional Chinese medicine. Lancet. 2008, 372: 1938-1940. 10.1016/S0140-6736(08)61354-9.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.