Objectives In China, the incidence of breast cancer is relatively high, and the peak incidence later in life. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has become well known worldwide for its significant role in preventing and treating cancer. In the present study, we investigated the efficacy of TCM Xiaozhengshugan recipe as an adjunctive therapy in breast cancer.
Methods This was a prospective, randomized, controlled trial. A total of 72 breast cancer patients were randomized into an observation group (Western medicine treatment combined with TCM Xiaozhengshugan recipe, n = 38) and a control group (Western medicine only with no TCM therapy, n = 34). The effectiveness of therapy for breast cancer was evaluated.
Results The study demonstrated that the Xiaozhengshugan recipe could relieve clinical symptoms and improve quality of life (QoL). QoL scores in both groups were higher than before treatment (p < 0.01). The improvement in Chinese medical symptoms in the observation group was significantly better than in the control group (p < 0.05). CA153, CEA and CA125 levels were decreased in both groups after therapy compared to before ( p < 0.05, respectively). None of the patients died during the follow-up period. In the control group, five patients experienced a recurrence of disease and nine patients had metastases, with a median disease-free survival (DFS) of 5.7 years. The rate of recurrences and metastases in the observation group was lower than in the control group, and the DFS was longer, but there were no significant differences between the two groups (p < 0.05).
Conclusions TCM combined with Western medicine can relieve the clinical Chinese medical symptoms of breast cancer, promote QoL, and decrease CA15-3, CEA and CA125 levels, but shows no efficacy in preventing or delaying recurrence and metastasis.
Acknowledgments This research was financially supported by the Medicine and Health Care Science and Technology Development Plan Projects Foundation of Shandong Province (Grant No. 2014WS0282) and the Application Technology Research and Development Project Foundation in Rizhao City (Grant No. 2014SZSH002).
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