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Advances in Synergistic Combinations of Chinese Herbal Medicine for the Treatment of Cancer

[ Vol. 16 , Issue. 4 ]


Xue-Qing Hu, Yang Sun, Eric Lau, Ming Zhao and Shi-Bing SuPages 346-356 (11)


The complex pathology of cancer development requires correspondingly complex treatments. The traditional application of individual single-target drugs fails to sufficiently treat cancer with durable therapeutic effects and tolerable adverse events. Therefore, synergistic combinations of drugs represent a promising way to enhance efficacy, overcome toxicity and optimize safety. Chinese Herbal Medicines (CHMs) have long been used as such synergistic combinations. Therefore, we summarized the synergistic combinations of CHMs used in the treatment of cancer and their roles in chemotherapy in terms of enhancing efficacy, reducing side effects, immune modulation, as well as abrogating drug resistance. Our conclusions support the development of further science-based holistic modalities for cancer care.


Cancer treatment, Chinese medicine, drug resistance, effect, immunity, side effects, synergistic combination.


Department of Research Center for Traditional Chinese Medicine Complexity System, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai, China.

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