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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 426207, 12 pages
Review Article

Does the Couse of Astragalus-Containing Chinese Herbal Prescriptions and Radiotherapy Benefit to Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer Treatment: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Trials

Department of Respiratory Medicine, Jiangsu Province Hospital of Chinese Medicine, Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, 155 Hanzhong Road, Nanjing 210029, China

Received 20 August 2013; Accepted 10 November 2013

Academic Editor: C. S. Cho

Copyright © 2013 Hailang He 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.


Background. Radiotherapy has been widely used for non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), while its low efficacy and high toxicity raise big concerns. Astragalus (as a monarch drug)-containing Chinese herbal prescriptions and radiotherapy were frequently coused for NSCLC in China; however, the effects were not systematically analyzed. Objective. To evaluate the benefits of Astragalus-containing Chinese herbal prescriptions combined with radiotherapy for NSCLC. Methods. The randomized controlled trials involving NSCLC treatment with Astragalus-containing Chinese herbal prescriptions combined with radiotherapy were searched. The Review Manager 5.1 software was employed for data analysis. Funnel plot and Egger’s test were applied to evaluate publication bias. Results. 29 eligible studies met our criteria. Of the studies, 8, 6, and 4 reported reduced risk of death at one year, two years, and three years, respectively. 26 studies revealed amended tumor response. Six studies showed improved Karnofsky performance status. Among the studies, 14 and 18 displayed a lowered white blood cells (WBC) toxicity and an ameliorated radiation pneumonia, respectively. Conclusion. Couse of Astragalus-containing Chinese herbal prescriptions and radiotherapy may benefit the patients with NSCLC via increasing the therapeutic effectiveness and reducing the toxicity of radiotherapy. To confirm the exact merits, further rigorously designed trials are warranted.