Combination of traditional Chinese medicine and epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors in the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Lung Cancer

Medicine (Baltimore). 2020 Aug 7;99(32):e20683. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000020683.


BACKGROUND: In China, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is an increasingly important part of the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), which usually includes a combination of prescription and syndrome differentiation. Epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR-TKIs) have been proven to be the first-line drugs for the treatment of advanced EGFR mutation-positive NSCLC. In China, EGFR-TKIs are used in combination with traditional Chinese medicines to reduce side effects and/or enhance effectiveness. Nevertheless, the relationship between TCMs and EGFR-TKIs remain unclear. This meta-review aimed to explore the clinical evidence of TCMs combined with EGFR-TKIs in the treatment of NSCLC.

METHODS: Related studies were found by searching the databases of EMBASE, PubMed, Web of Science, MEDLINE, Cochrane library database, China Academic Journals (CNKI), Wanfang and Weipu. This study included 57 randomized controlled trials, all of these were processed by Stata software (version 12.0). In the study, all the materials are published articles, patient anonymity and informed consent and ethics Approval/Institutional review board are not necessary.

RESULTS: This study demonstrated that the objective response rate was higher in the group of TCMs plus EGFR-TKIs than in the group of EGFR-TKIs alone (risk ratios 1.39, 95% confidence intervals [1.29, 1.50]). Further research of specific herbal medicines showed that Huangqi, Baishu, Fuling, Gancao, Maidong, Baihuashecao, Shashen, Dangshen and Renshen, had significant higher contributions to results.

CONCLUSION: TCMs may improve the efficacy of EGFR-TKIs in the treatment of NSCLC.