Multidisciplinary and Comprehensive Chinese Medicine for Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Patients: A Retrospective Study of 855 Cases

Lung Cancer

Chin J Integr Med. 2020 Sep 2. doi: 10.1007/s11655-020-3428-5. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effects of multidisciplinary and comprehensive Chinese medicine (CM) treatments on progression-free survival (PFS) and median survival time (MST) in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and identify factors that influence progression and prognosis.

METHODS: Clinical data of 855 patients with advanced NSCLC who received multidisciplinary and comprehensive CM treatments at Longhua Hospital from January 2009 to December 2018 were retrospectively analyzed. Univariate analysis was performed by the Kaplan-Meier method and log-rank sequential inspection. Multivariate analysis of significant variables from the univariate analysis was performed with Cox regression modeling. Key factors correlated to progression and prognosis were screened out, and a Cox proportional hazard model was established to calculate the prognostic index.

RESULTS: The PFS and MST of 855 advanced NSCLC patients were 9.0 and 26.0 months, respectively. The 1-, 2-, 3-, and 5-year survival rates were 79.2%, 54%, 36.2%, and 17.1%, respectively. Gender, pathologic type, and clinical stage were independent prognostic risk factors; surgical history, radiotherapy, treatment course of Chinese patent medicine, intravenous drip of Chinese herbal preparation, duration of oral administration of Chinese herbal decoction (CHD), and intervention measures were independent prognostic protective factors. Gender was an independent risk factor for progression, while operation history and oral CHD administration duration were independent protective factors (all P<0.05). Women with stage IIIb-IIIc lung adenocarcinoma had the best outcomes.

CONCLUSIONS: Female patients have lower progression risk and better prognoses than male patients, younger patients have higher progression risk but better long-term prognoses than the elderlys, and patients with lower performance status scores are at lower risk for progression and have better prognoses. Comprehensive CM treatments could significantly reduce progression risk, improve prognosis, and prolong survival time for patients with advanced NSCLC. This treatment mode offers additional

advantages over supportive care alone.