Published on 04-14-2014
Gastric (Stomach) cancer is a particularly deadly form of cancer that has a very poor prognosis in most cases. Worldwide over 700,000 people will die from stomach cancer and less than 10% of the people diagnosed with stomach cancer will survive. Because of these statistics, researchers are continually looking for anything that can provide a better outcome.
Recently a team of researchers from Shanghai University conducted a study exploring a traditional Chinese Herbal Formula called Zuo Jin Wan on stomach cancer cells. The formula itself is quite basic compared to many in the materia medica with only two ingredients - Huang Lian and Whu Zhu Yu (ina 6:1 ratio). In TCM it is primarily used for what we would call liver fire leading to rebellious qi - which in some cases could be rephrase so to speak as poor diet and emotional stress leading to reflux.
Within the study, which is very heavy on biochemical terms difficult for the average layperson to understand, researchers concluded that "zuo jin wan might serve as a synergistic drug with chemotherapeutic drugs DDP in the treatment of gastric cancer". In more basic terms researchers found that the use of Zuo Jin Wan helped reduce the cancers ability to resist chemotherapy which is a common problem with current western treatments. This is one of many studies that have showed the combination of Chinese Herbal Medicine with western treatments to lead to improved outcomes.
In a related recent study another team from Shanghai University conducted a study looking at a modified formula for "invigorating the spleen" for improving survival rates of those with gastric cancer with peritoneal metastasis. The formula they created was as follows:
The major components were Radix Pseudostellariae (12 g), Rhizoma Atractylodis Macrocephalae (12 g), Poria (30 g), Rhizome Pinelliae Preparata (9 g), green tangerine peel (4.5 g), Concha Ostreae (30 g), and Prunella vulgaris (9 g)
Reasoning for this formula is as follows:
"In this compound formula, the herbs which have the function of invigorating the spleen function played the role of the sovereign ingredient. And the herbs for heat-clearing and detoxifying as well as for promoting circulation and removing blood stasis played the roles of minister and assistant ingredients. ... Radix Pseudostellariae (tai zi shen) and Rhizoma Atractylodis Macrocephalae (bai zhu) are used to reinforce the spleen function supplement Qi (according to the fundamental theory of TCM, Qi is often translated as vital energy); Poria (fu ling) is used to invigorate the spleen and eliminate dampness; Rhizome Pinelliae Preparata (ban xia) is used to dry dampness and dissolve phlegm; green tangerine peel (qing pi) is used to promote the circulation of Qi and blood; Concha Ostreae (mu li) and Prunella vulgari (xia ku cao) are used to soften hardness and dissolve lump."
Rsearchers divided two groups - one chemo plus the herbal formula (47) and the other chemo alone (46) and found that the combination treatment group had a statistically significant improvement in their prognosis overall.
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