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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2016, Article ID 3281968, 19 pages
Review Article

Chinese Herbal Medicine as Adjunctive Therapy to Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

1Department of Oncology, Beijing Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100010, China
2Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100029, China
3Department of Oncology, Third Affiliated Hospital of Henan College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Zhengzhou 450000, China
4Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology, Uppsala University, 75123 Uppsala, Sweden

Received 27 October 2015; Revised 6 February 2016; Accepted 1 March 2016

Academic Editor: Kamal D. Moudgil

Copyright © 2016 Xu Sun 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.


Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) has been increasingly employed during therapy for breast cancer, but its efficacy remains a matter of debate. This systematic review examined randomized controlled trials to provide a critical evaluation of this treatment. The results demonstrated that the combined use of CHM with chemotherapy may improve the immediate tumor response and reduce chemotherapy-associated adverse events. Our findings highlight the poor quality of Chinese studies, and additional well-designed randomized controlled trials addressing the role of CHM are warranted. The lack of molecular-based evidence for CHM and Zheng has resulted in a limited understanding and acceptance of CHM and traditional Chinese medicine in Western countries. We believe that researchers should immediately explore a CHM-based cure, and CHM should be applied to routine care as soon as conclusive data are available.