Comparative efficacy and safety of Chinese herbal injections combined with the FOLFOX regimen for treating gastric cancer in China: a network meta-analysis

Dan Zhang, Jiewen Zheng, Mengwei Ni, Jiarui Wu _, Kuaihuan Wang, Xiaojiao Duan, Xiaomeng Zhang and Bing Zhang

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:68873-68889. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.20320

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Dan Zhang1, Jiewen Zheng1, Mengwei Ni1, Jiarui Wu1, Kuaihuan Wang1, Xiaojiao Duan1, Xiaomeng Zhang1 and Bing Zhang1

1Department of Clinical Chinese Pharmacy, School of Chinese Materia Medica, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100102, China

Correspondence to:

Jiarui Wu, email: [email protected]

Keywords: Chinese herbal injections, FOLFOX regimen, gastric cancer, network meta-analysis

Received: May 26, 2017     Accepted: August 04, 2017     Published: August 18, 2017


Background: Chinese herbal injections (CHIs) have been proven beneficial to patients with gastric cancer for improving clinical efficacy and relieving adverse reactions (ADRs) of chemotherapy. A network meta-analysis (NMA) was conducted in this study to assess the comparative efficacy and safety of CHIs combined with FOLFOX regimen for treating gastric cancer.

Results: A total of 2316 records were searched, and 81 eligible RCTs involving 15 types of CHIs and 5978 patients were included in the NMA. The results showed that patients who received Shengqifuzheng+ FOLFOX, Compound kushen+ FOLFOX, Huachansu+ FOLFOX, Astragalus+ FOLFOX, Kangai+ FOLFOX, and Lentinan injection + FOLFOX could significantly improve clinical efficacy than using FOLFOX single, and their odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI)s were 1.57 (1.19,2.09), 2.12 (1.62,2.78),1.72 (1.08,2.80), 3.06 (1.01,8.99), 2.01 (1.52,2.70), and 1.99 (1.20,3.38) respectively. Furthermore, the therapy of Aidi+ FOLFOX, Shenqifuzheng+ FOLFOX, Compound Kushen+ FOLFOX, Huachansu+ FOLFOX, Astragalus polysaccharides+ FOLFOX, Kangai+ FOLFOX, Ginseng polysaccharide+ FOLFOX, Lentinan+ FOLFOX, Xiaoaiping+ FOLFOX, and Shenmai injection + FOLFOX could also achieve a higher performance status compared with FOLFOX regimen alone. Similarly, patients who received CHIs combine with FOLFOX regimen were associated with a significantly decrease the incidence of leucopenia, gastrointestinal reaction and hepatic dysfunction. Cluster analysis demonstrated that Astragalus polysaccharides+ FOLFOX, and Kangai+ FOLFOX seemed optimal therapies in improving clinical efficacy and performance status; Astragalus polysaccharides+ FOLFOX was superior in reducing leucopenia and gastrointestinal reaction; Disodium Cantharidinate and Vitamin B6+ FOLFOX was associated with favorable effects in reducing gastrointestinal reaction and hepatic dysfunction. By contrary, receiving FOLFOX regimen single was proved to rank the worst for these outcomes.

Materials and Methods: A comprehensive literature search was performed in several electronic databases to identify randomized controlled trial (RCTs) regarding CHIs for gastric cancer until January 10, 2017. The quality assessment was accomplished according to the Cochrane risk of bias tool and the methodological section of the CONSORT statement. And a random-effects model NMA was utilized to compare different CHIs combined with FOLFOX regimen with regard to efficacy and safety. Data were analyzed using STATA 12.0 and Win-BUGS 1.4 software.

Conclusions: The results of this NMA suggested that among 15 types of CHIs, Astragalus polysaccharides injection combined with FOLFOX regimen seemed optimal for patients with gastric cancer in improving clinical efficacy and performance status, and relieving ADRs. However, our findings should be confirmed by more prospectively designed, large-sample and multi-center RCTs.

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