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REVIEW
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 101-107

Application and Perspectives of Traditional Chinese Medicine in the Treatment of Liver Cancer


Institute of Chinese Materia Medica, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing, China

Correspondence Address:
Na Lin
Institute of Chinese Materia Medica, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, No. 16, Nanxiaojie, Dongzhimennei, Beijing 100700
China
Yanqiong Zhang
Institute of Chinese Materia Medica, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, No. 16, Nanxiaojie, Dongzhimennei, Beijing 100700
China
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2395-3977.159538

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Liver cancer is one of the most fatal cancers worldwide, the management of which demands a multidisciplinary approach. Conventional therapies such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy have gained reasonable success. However, most of these patients experience a severe torment, both mentally and physically. Numerous studies have indicated that traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), when used in conjunction with conventional allopathic therapies, can enhance their efficacy and diminish the resulting side effects and complications. Therefore, a deeper understanding of TCM is of immense help to physicians and other health care providers in providing a better care to patients. TCM is proved to be efficacious in terms of suppressing tumor progression, improving immune system function, and increasing the sensitivity to chemo- and radio-therapies. Although TCM can be delivered in various dosage forms, pills, decoctions, and injections are the three most commonly used forms in treating liver cancer. While these traditional dosage forms limits the usage of herbal medicines to their full potential novel TCM delivery forms such as nanoparticles can enhance the bioavailability, reduce any associated side effect, achieve targeted delivery, and improve the acceptance of TCM by patients. This review summarizes the current application of TCM in different prescriptions and dosage forms in the treatment of liver cancer, along with their advantages and disadvantages, all of which is believed to contribute to better understanding of Chinese herbal medicines as an essential part in the treatment of liver cancer and the importance of this trend to combine TCM and western medicine in novel dosage forms for a better management of the condition.


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