Updated: Mar 3, 2021
Integrative therapy utilizing Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine (TCHM) has been associated with prolong survival in a number of human cancer types such as metastatic mammary carcinoma, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, and gastric cancer, to list a few. Conversely, some evidence also exists illustrating that careful patient specific considerations are warranted as some herbal therapies might promote growth of certain types of cancer, such as hormone responsive breast cancer, or that certain herb-chemotherapy combinations may hold the potential to interfere with chemotherapy efficacy. It is, therefore, important to respect the importance of patient-specific prescribing. An extensive review of herb pharmacokinetics and drug-herb interactions is beyond the scope of this blog. It should be acknowledged that the importance of appropriate patient-oriented TCHM prescribing and efforts to stay up to date with the current literature on this topic when combining herbal medicines with conventional treatments cannot be overemphasized.