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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 957082, 8 pages
Research Article

First Nationwide Attitude Survey of Japanese Physicians on the Use of Traditional Japanese Medicine (Kampo) in Cancer Treatment

1Aoyama Pharmacy, 2-10-9 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0062, Japan
2Center for Kampo Medicine, Keio University School of Medicine, 35 Shinanomachi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-8582, Japan
3Pharmaceutical Education Research Center, School of Pharmacy, Kitasato University, 5-9-1 Shirokane, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8641, Japan

Received 29 April 2012; Accepted 5 September 2012

Academic Editor: Thomas Ostermann

Copyright © 2012 A. Ito et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The aim of this nationwide survey was to investigate the use of Kampo medicine by Japanese physicians who worked in the core cancer treatment hospitals which were designated by Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. Among the 900 physicians surveyed, 92.4% reported having prescribed Kampo medications, of whom 73.5% reported having prescribed them for cancer patients. Despite this high percentage and the finding that only 9.7% of the physicians reported that they considered Kampo medications to be harmful, only 23.1% of the physicians expressed high expectations of the efficacy of Kampo medicine in tumor suppression and the exertion of immunostimulatory action. In contrast, many cancer patients have expressed the belief that Kampo medications can suppress tumor growth, and several studies have reported that they exert immunostimulatory action. To resolve this discrepancy in patient and physician expectations and to clarify the research findings, further research into the effectiveness and harmfulness of Kampo medicine in cancer treatment is warranted.