Objective: To observe the effect of modified Sijunzi Decoction (SJZD) on immune function in patients with colorectal cancer undergoing chemotherapy (CM) with FOLFOX4 protocol (oxaliplatin + calcium folinate + 5-fluorouracil).
Methods: Forty-five patients with colorectal cancer were randomly assigned to two groups, the 22 in the control group treated with CM alone and the 23 in the treated group treated with CM plus SJZD. The therapeutic course for both groups was 2 chemotherapy cycles. Immunologic indices, including T-lymphocyte subgroup and NK cell proportion were detected before and after treatment using immunofluorescence stain and flow cytometry. Meantime, patients' quality of life (QOL) was scaled by KPS scoring, body mass was weighed, side and toxic effects of chemotherapy were recorded.
Results: Compared with pre-treatment, CD4 and CD4/CD8 significantly decreased after treatment in the control group (P < 0.05), while in the treated group, CD3, CD4 and CD4/CD8 increased significantly (P < 0.05). In addition, CD4 and CD4/CD8 were much higher in the treated group than in the control group (P < 0.05). Compared with the control group, the treated group had stabilized KPS score and body weight, and reduced chemotherapeutic toxicity shown as higher level of leucocyte amount, less symptoms of nausea and vomiting (P < 0.05).
Conclusion: SJZD could improve the immune function and QOL of colorectal cancer patients undergoing FOLFOX4, and reduce the side effects of CM.