Treatment of Lung Cancer with Chinese Herbal Medicine: A Case Study

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Lung cancer is one of the most common causes of cancer-related death in men and women globally. The main types of lung cancer are small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), with the later making up over 80% of the lung cancer cases. There are three main subtypes of NSCLC, including squamous cell lung carcinoma, adenocarcinoma and large-cell lung carcinoma. Current conventional treatments for lung cancer are mainly surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The best option for early stages of NSCLC is surgery, whereas the advanced stage of the disease can be treated with chemotherapy and radiotherapy. However, clinical studies have demonstrated that chemotherapy and radiotherapy for such advanced cases have only 4% chance of survival at two years and 2% at five years. In 2004, we reported on a case of a patient with NSCLC treated with Chinese Herbal Medicine (CHM). Since then there have been many requests for information about this patient and her current health status. In the original article, the details of the Chinese medicine assessment, syndrome differentiation and CHM treatment for this case was not fully elucidated [3]. We therefore present a follow-up discussion with a focus on Chinese medicine (CM) and the salient lessons learned from this case. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first case to report a complete response and longterm survival of advanced NSCLC patient treated with Chinese herbal medicine alone.

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Author Henry Liming Liang & Jessica Runxiang Guo
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