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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 241629, 6 pages
Research Article

Therapeutic Effects of Saireito (Chai-Ling-Tang), a Traditional Japanese Herbal Medicine, on Lymphedema Caused by Radiotherapy: A Case Series Study

1Department of Therapeutic Radiology, Ishikawa Prefectural Central Hospital, Kanazawa, Ishikawa 920-8530, Japan
2Department of Radiology, Nagoya City University, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, 1 Kawasumi, Mizuho-cho, Mizuho-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 467-8601, Japan
3Clinic of Japanese-Oriental (Kampo) Medicine, Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Kanazawa University Hospital, Kanazawa, Ishikawa 920-8641, Japan

Received 25 March 2013; Accepted 21 May 2013

Academic Editor: Yoshiharu Motoo

Copyright © 2013 Aiko Nagai 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.


Despite the development of radiotherapy machines and technologies, a proportion of patients suffer from radiation-induced lymphedema. Saireito (SRT) is a traditional Japanese herbal medicine that has been used for treating edema and inflammation in conditions such as nephritic disease. This study investigated the effect of SRT on lymphedema caused by radiotherapy. Four patients were treated with SRT at a dose of 9 g/day. The severity of lymphedema was evaluated using the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events version 4 and Numerical Rating Scale before and after SRT treatment. After the treatment with SRT, 2 of 4 patients (50%) showed apparent improvement in lymphedema. One of the cases had difficulty in wearing the custom-made thermoplastic cast, but after SRT administration, he could wear the mask easily. One case decided to stop taking SRT 3 days after initiation because cough and fever appeared. In conclusion, it is important to control the side effects of radiotherapy, which leads to improved tumor control rates. Prospective randomized studies are necessary to confirm the findings of this case series study.