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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 980190, 19 pages
Research Article

Systems Pharmacology Dissecting Holistic Medicine for Treatment of Complex Diseases: An Example Using Cardiocerebrovascular Diseases Treated by TCM

1Evidence-Based Medicine Centre, Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, The First Affiliated Hospital, Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin 300193, China
2Bioinformatics Center, College of Life Sciences, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, China
3School of Chemical Engineering, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian 116024, China
4State Key Laboratory of New-Tech for Chinese Medicine Pharmaceutical Process, Lianyungang, Jiangsu 22001, China

Received 10 February 2015; Revised 8 April 2015; Accepted 15 April 2015

Academic Editor: Yew-Min Tzeng

Copyright © 2015 Yonghua Wang 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.


Holistic medicine is an interdisciplinary field of study that integrates all types of biological information (protein, small molecules, tissues, organs, external environmental signals, etc.) to lead to predictive and actionable models for health care and disease treatment. Despite the global and integrative character of this discipline, a comprehensive picture of holistic medicine for the treatment of complex diseases is still lacking. In this study, we develop a novel systems pharmacology approach to dissect holistic medicine in treating cardiocerebrovascular diseases (CCDs) by TCM (traditional Chinese medicine). Firstly, by applying the TCM active ingredients screened out by a systems-ADME process, we explored and experimentalized the signed drug-target interactions for revealing the pharmacological actions of drugs at a molecule level. Then, at a/an tissue/organ level, the drug therapeutic mechanisms were further investigated by a target-organ location method. Finally, a translational integrating pathway approach was applied to extract the diseases-therapeutic modules for understanding the complex disease and its therapy at systems level. For the first time, the feature of the drug-target-pathway-organ-cooperations for treatment of multiple organ diseases in holistic medicine was revealed, facilitating the development of novel treatment paradigm for complex diseases in the future.