Objective: To investigate the effects of the Chinese herbal medicine Xiaoaiping to treat chemotherapy-induced side effects in breast cancer patients.
Methods: Ninety-three adult patients who attended our hospital and met the entry criteria from January 2016 to December 2017 were included. Patients were randomly divided into the control group (routine chemotherapy only) and the combined group (routine chemotherapy and Xiaoaiping). Demographic data and clinical variables were collected, and side effects including alopecia, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, white blood cell (WBC) count, aspartate aminotransferase (AST) levels, and the quality of life were evaluated.
Results: Basic clinical characteristics were not different between the groups. There were significantly fewer patients with alopecia grade 3-4, but significantly more patients with alopecia grade 1-2, in the combined group compared with the control group. Disease-free time for alopecia was longer in the combined compared with the control group. Overall, the side effects were significantly more serious in the control compared with the combined group. Patients in the combined group had better quality of life than the control patients.
Conclusion: Xiaoaiping can improve alopecia, nausea and vomiting, and diarrhea symptoms, WBC count, AST levels, and the quality of life in breast cancer patients.
Keywords: Chinese herbal medicine; Xiaoaiping; alopecia,; breast cancer; chemotherapy-induced side effects; quality of life.