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Frontiers of Medicine >> 2017, Volume 11, Issue 2 doi: 10.1007/s11684-017-0512-0

Effect of traditional Chinese medicine combined with Western therapy on primary hepatic carcinoma: a systematic review with meta-analysis

1. Hubei University of Chinese Medicine, Wuhan 430065, China.

2. Hepatopathy Institute, Affiliated Hospital of Hubei University of Chinese Medicine (Chinese Medicine Hospital in Hubei Province), Wuhan 430061, China

Available online: 2017-06-01

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Primary hepatic carcinoma (PHC) is a common malignant tumor in China. Cancer is comprehensively treated with various therapeutic regimes, including traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). TCM has been widely used to improve the quality of life, delay the time of cancer progression, and prolong the median survival time. This systematic review with meta-analysis aimed to assess the effect of TCM combined with Western therapy on primary hepatic carcinoma. A comprehensive literature search was conducted in six databases, including CNKI, VIP, Wan-Fang Database, CBM, PubMed, and Cochrane library. A total of 44 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) involving 3429 participants suffering from PHC were selected. Meta-analysis results indicated that the overall effect of TCM and Western integrative treatment on PHC was higher than that of Western intervention alone, which can postpone tumor recurrence and metastasis and prolong the overall survival time of patients with PHC. Although the obtained evidence remained weak because of the poor methodological quality of the included studies, this review provided relevant data supporting the efficacy and safety of TCM combined with Western therapies. In future research, individual RCT studies should incorporate accepted standards for trial design and reporting, proper outcome indicators according to international standards, blinding in allocation concealment, and valid follow-up periods.

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