Effect of Chinese Herbal Medicine on Breast Cancer

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Effect of Chinese Herbal Medicine on Breast Cancer

Published on 01-18-2011

"ChadD" is an acupuncturist and lives in Minneapolis and has authored 367 other posts.

Chinese Herbal Medicine is widely used both as an adjunctive therapy or even in lieu of western treatments for various cancers.  Many of the components of herbal medicine have been studied extensively including some studies on traditional formulas yet strong studies on which formulas, herbs and dosages are most effective is lacking.  While there is strong enough evidence for practitioners of Chinese Medicine to make recommendations, there is not enough for the western medical establishment to recommend these techniques nor are there enough studies to understand the implications of using both western chemical medicine at eastern herbal medicine at the same time.

In this study researchers from the Unit of Integrative Medicine at the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Cetner in Israel looked at the effects of herbal treatment on breast cancer cell lines in vitro.  Researchers used three breast cancer lines (MDA-231, MDA-453, and T47D).  They exposed these lines to powdered Chinese Herbal Medicine for 72 hours and used a variety of measures to determine any anti-cancer effects.

Researchers found that the Chinese Herbal Medicine treatment increased apoptosis (cell death) indicated a measurable function of anti-cancer activities.  Due to these results they currently have a randomized clinical trial undergoing to use Chinese Herbal Medicine in conjunction with Chemotherapy treatment to see if clinical outcomes are improved.

While in our work we rely heavily on Tong Ren Therapy (a form of energy healing) for cancer (study here) there are Herbal Formulas such as Kang Zhong Wan (and many others) which have shown similar anti-cancer activity in a broad range of cancers.  One individual herb, Ban Zhi Lian,  (which is in Kang Zhong Wan) is in the process of being approved by the FDA for a trial treating stage IV metastatic breast cancer.  

All in all there are many treatment options for people with cancer particularly in countries where access to western drugs is difficult.  That said, there is much work to be done particularly in exploring the viability and effectiveness of combining approaches.

This post has the following associations:

Issues/Symptoms: breast cancer, cancer

Herbs: ban zhi lian

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