Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) have been used to reduce toxic effects and enhance therapeutic effects of modern cancer therapy, palliate clinical syndrome or improve quality of life, enhance immune function, prevent recurrence and metastasis, and anti-cancer therapy for patients failed in or refuse to conventional treatment. From TCM perspective, the pathogenesis of cancer is related to weakened body resistance, blood stasis, phlegm stagnation and toxicity accumulation, and cancer are recognized as syndrome of blood-stasis, phlegm and toxicity in TCM. Syndrome Differential Treatment is the basic principle for cancer treatment. Anti-cancer effects of Chinese herb are associated with apoptosis, cell senescence, autophagy and other mechanisms. Chinese herbal formula is the major application form of Chinese herb. Most TCM physicians prescribe or combine multiple herbs for a formula or prescription based on TCM principles, pharmacological progression and personal experience. We emphasize application of anti-cancer herb must guided by TCM principles. There is a great need to explore the combination rule of anti-cancer herbs, and establish effective herbal formulas for various situations in cancer treatment. TCM can be used to alleviate symptoms, improve quality of life, prevent recurrence and metastasis, and prolong survival time. Scientifically combination conventional treatment with TCM may provide new insight into future practice of cancer medicine. However, as an ancient ethnomedicine, TCM must further develop effective herbal combinations or formulas for various situations in cancer treatment, elucidate herb effect mechanisms, understand combination rule of anti-cancer herbs and herb-drug interaction, identify active herbal ingredients, and demonstrate clinical efficacy by high level randomized control trials.
Last date updated on July, 2014