Posted: Monday, November 27, 2023
A team of researchers in Tianjin, China, conducted a systematic review of the literature surrounding the use of Chinese herbal medicines in the treatment of prostate cancer. As published in the journal Chinese Herbal Medicines, Yingjie Jia, MD, of the First Teaching Hospital of Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and colleagues examined both experimental and clinical research, reporting a wide gap between experimental data and the clinical application of Chinese herbal medicines in treating prostate cancer. They highlight the need for extensive, high-quality clinical trials with large sample sizes and standardized measurement and reporting procedures.
The investigators compiled all research on the use of Chinese herbal medicines to treat prostate cancer from the PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science databases within the past 5 years. From the experimental research, they identified 5 Chinese herbal medicine formulas, 6 single extracts, and 12 Chinese herbal medicine–derived compounds that seemed to show benefits, including induction of apoptosis, autophagy, and cell-cycle arrest; suppression of angiogenesis, proliferation, and migration of prostate cancer cells; reversal of drug resistance; and enhancement of antitumor immunity. They also identified potential pathways and mechanisms of action of the various treatments for future study.
Regarding clinical research, the investigators summarized treatments that seem to show promise for different types and stages of prostate cancer and endorsed the integration of both traditional Chinese and Western medicine in managing the disease. However, they noted, current clinical evidence is insufficient, and large, multicenter, double-blind, randomized controlled trials with follow-up periods of 3 to 5 years are necessary to ensure long-term efficacy.
Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.