Background & objective: Chemotherapy is a treatment for stage III-IV non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), but the efficacy is not ideal. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has certain effect on NSCLC. This study was to investigate various factors that affect the prognosis of advanced NSCLC, and evaluate the role of TCM in enlonging survival time of patients with stage III-IV NSCLC.
Methods: The NSCLC patients who meet the inclusive criteria were randomized into TCM group, combination (TCM plus NP regimen) group, and chemotherapy group, and received relevant treatments. The median survival time (MST) was calculated by Kaplan-Meier method. The prognosis of the patients was analyzed by COX regression method.
Results: A total of 294 stage III-IV NSCLC patients were enrolled, of which 99 were in TCM group, 103 in combination group, 92 in chemotherapy group. The MST were 292 days in TCM group, 355 days in combination group, and 236 days in chemotherapy group; the cumulative survival rates were 45.38%, 48.86%, and 42.17%, respectively (P>0.05). Cox regression analysis indicated that therapy, gender, disease course, erythrocyte sedimentation, KPS score, tumor size, and patient's weight were independent prognostic factors of stage III-IV NSCLC.
Conclusion: Compare with chemotherapy alone, TCM combined with chemotherapy may prolong the survival time of stage III-IV NSCLC patients.