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Chinese herbal medicine, Jianpi Ligan decoction, improves prognosis of unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma after transarterial chemoembolization: a retrospective study

Authors Tang CW, Zhu M, Feng WM, Bao Y, Zheng YY

Received 21 May 2016

Accepted for publication 22 June 2016

Published 3 August 2016 Volume 2016:10 Pages 2461—2466

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/DDDT.S113295

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Akshita Wason

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Wei Duan


Cheng Wu Tang,1 Ming Zhu,2 Wen Ming Feng,1 Ying Bao,1 Yin Yuan Zheng3

1Department of General Surgery, 2Department of Nephrology, 3Department of Radiology, First People’s Hospital Affiliated to Huzhou University Medical College, Huzhou, People’s Republic of China


Objective: This study aimed to investigate the efficacy of Jianpi Ligan decoction (JLD) as an adjuvant therapy for patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) treated by transarterial chemoembolization (TACE).
Methods: From March 2007 to March 2013, 103 patients with unresectable HCC who underwent TACE in our center were included in this retrospective study. Among the 103 patients, 53 patients accepted JLD along with TACE (JLD group) and 50 patients accepted TACE alone (control group). Indices including complication, toxicity, treatment success rate, and long-term survival were obtained for analysis and comparison.
Results: There was no significant difference in patient characteristics between the two groups. No procedure-related deaths or encephalopathy occurred. Fewer patients from the JLD group experienced constipation (7/53 vs 15/50, P=0.0377), abdominal bloating (5/53 vs 12/50, P=0.0466), and lack of appetite (35/53 vs 42/50, P=0.0360). The JLD group had lesser and lighter hepatic toxicity (P=0.0265) and gastrointestinal toxicity (P=0.0445) such as nausea and vomiting. The JLD group had a significantly higher treatment success rate than the control group (51/53 vs 40/50, P=0.0103). Three-year overall survival probability was significantly higher in the JLD group than in the control group (37.74% vs 26.00%; hazard ratio [HR] 0.6171; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.3832–0.9938; P=0.0365 by log-rank test). No significant difference was found in 3-year overall survival probability (39.22% vs 32.50%; HR, 0.7449; 95% CI, 0.4398–1.2614; P=0.2491 by log-rank test) or 3-year intrahepatic recurrence-free survival probability in patients who achieved treatment success (37.25% vs 30.00%; HR, 0.7280; 95% CI, 0.4332–1.2233; P=0.2087 by log-rank test) between the two groups.
Conclusion: Application of JLD was effective for reduction of side effects and improvement of long-term survival for patients with unresectable HCC treated by TACE.

Keywords: hepatocellular carcinoma, transarterial chemoembolization, traditional Chinese medicine, overall survival

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