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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 408145, 11 pages
Review Article

Is Huachansu Beneficial in Treating Advanced Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer? Evidence from a Meta-Analysis of Its Efficacy Combined with Chemotherapy

1Department of Gastroenterology, Yueyang Hospital of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 200437, China
2Department of Oncology, Shanghai Pulmonary Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200433, China
3Science and Technology Experimental Center, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203, China
4Department of Immunology and Pathogen Biology, School of Basic Medicine, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203, China

Received 29 January 2015; Accepted 24 June 2015

Academic Editor: José L. Ríos

Copyright © 2015 Bingduo Zhou 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. Huachansu, the sterilized water extract of Bufo bufo gargarizans toad skin, is used in China to alleviate the side-effects and enhance the therapeutic effect of chemotherapy in advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We conducted a meta-analysis to assess Huachansu’s efficacy. Methods. We extensively searched electronic databases (CENTRAL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, CBM, Cochrane Library, CNKI, CEBM, WFDP, CSCD, CSTD, and IPA) for randomized controlled trials containing Huachansu plus chemotherapy as the test group and chemotherapy as the control group. Seventeen trials were selected based on the selection criteria. The pooled relative ratio (RR) of indicators with 95% confidence interval (95% CI) was calculated for efficacy evaluation. Results. The meta-analysis demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in objective tumor response, one-year survival, Karnofsky performance status, pain relief, and alleviation of severe side-effects (nausea and vomiting, leukocytopenia) in the test group as compared to the control group, but no significant difference in thrombocytopenia. Conclusions. This study demonstrated the efficacy of Huachansu combined with chemotherapy in the treatment of advanced NSCLC. However, limitations exist and high-quality trials are needed for further verification.