Prescription patterns of Chinese herbal products for post-surgery colon cancer patients in Taiwan.J Ethnopharmacol. 2014 Aug 08; 155(1):702-8.JE
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is commonly provided to cancer patients, however, the patterns of prescriptions for this type of medicine in Taiwan are unclear. This study aimed to evaluate the use of traditional Chinese medicine products in colon cancer patients post-surgery in Taiwan and to research patterns of TCM.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
This was a cross-sectional study of newly diagnosed colon cancer patients who received surgery between 2004 and 2008 identified from the National Health Insurance Research Database of Taiwan. The prescription patterns and reasons for the use of TCM for colon cancer were analyzed.
The results showed that "symptoms, signs and ill-defined conditions" (23.3%) and diseases of the digestive system (16.9%) were the most common reasons for using Chinese herbal medicine. Xiang-sha-liu-jun-zi-tang (7.1%), Bu-zhong-yi-qi-tang (4.3%), Jia-wei-xiao-yao-san (4.1%), Shen-Ling-Bai-Zhu-San (3.7%), Ban-Xia-Xie-Xin-Tang (3.4%), Gui-pi-tang (2.4%), Ping-Wei-San (2.4%), Gan-Lu-Yin (2.0%), Bao-He-Wan (1.9%), and Zhen-Ren-Huo-Ming-Yin (1.8%) were the most commonly prescribed single Chinese herbal formulae (CHF) for colon cancer patients post-surgery. Hedyotis diffusa Willd (Bai Hua She She Cao) (5.1%) and Scutellaria barbata (Ban Zhi Lian)(4.8%) were the most commonly prescribed single Chinese herbs.
This study identified patterns of TCM use in colon cancer patients post-surgery in Taiwan. The herbal ingredients were most commonly used for stimulate ghrelin secretion to increase food intake and had potential anti-tumor effect. However, further research is required to evaluate any beneficial effects which could identify leads for the development of new treatment strategies using TCM.