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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2017, Article ID 3428253, 13 pages
Review Article

Add-On Therapy with Traditional Chinese Medicine Improves Outcomes and Reduces Adverse Events in Hepatocellular Carcinoma: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

1Shanghai Municipal Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 200071, China
2Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center, Fudan University, Shanghai 201508, China
3Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Medical College of Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Xiaorong Chen; moc.361@nehc3gnoroaix and Yongchun Yu; moc.361@88nuhcgnoyeuy

Received 31 January 2017; Accepted 4 April 2017; Published 7 June 2017

Academic Editor: Senthami R. Selvan

Copyright © 2017 Zongguo Yang 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 and Aims. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) therapy for hepatocellular carcinoma remains controversial. This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of TCM regimens in HCC treatment. Methods. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) up to June 1, 2016, of the TCM treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma were systematically identified in PubMed, CNKI, Ovid, Embase, Web of Science, Wanfang, VIP, CBM, AMED, and Cochrane Library databases. Results. A total of 1010 and 931 patients in 20 RCTs were randomly treated with add-on TCM therapy and conventional therapy, respectively. The additional use of TCM significantly improved six-month, one-year, two-year, and three-year overall survival rates in HCC cases (RR = 1.3, ; RR = 1.38, ; RR = 1.44, ; RR = 1.31, , resp.). Add-on TCM therapy significantly increased PR rate and total response rate (tRR) and reduced PD rate compared to those in control group (34.4% versus 26.3%, RR = 1.30, ; 41.6% versus 31.0%, RR = 1.30, ; and 16.6% versus 26.5%, RR = 0.64, , resp.). Additionally, TCM combination therapy significantly increased the quality of life (QOL) improvement rate and reduced adverse events including leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, anemia or erythropenia, liver injury, and gastrointestinal discomfort in HCC patients (all ). Conclusion. Add-on therapy with TCM could improve overall survival, increase clinical tumor responses, lead to better QOL, and reduce adverse events in hepatocellular carcinoma.