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Colorectal cancer and Chinese MedicineI’ve always been impressed hearing Dr. Yang Yu Fei present her research at conferences in both China and North America. A series of studies her Beijing-based team did, in partnership with the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas, has shown that colorectal cancer patients who use Traditional Chinese Medicine live longer overall, live longer without cancer coming back, and enjoy a better quality of life. In fact the longer the patients used TCM herbs regularly, the stronger the benefits.

Here is one of many of their studies, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. I’ve pasted the abstract below for your convenience. This is just one of many studies showing that longer-term use of Traditional Chinese herbs is associated with longevity among cancer patients. Look out for further research that I will share on this page soon!






 2017 Nov 1;2017(52). doi: 10.1093/jncimonographs/lgx015.

Association Between Use of Traditional Chinese Medicine Herbal Therapy and Survival Outcomes in Patients With Stage II and III Colorectal Cancer: A Multicenter Prospective Cohort Study.

Xu Y1Mao JJ1Sun L1Yang L1Li J1Hao Y1Li H1Hou W1Chu Y1Bai Y1Jia X1Wang J1Shen L1Zhang Y1Wang J1Liu J1Yang Y1.


Chinese cancer patients often use Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) herbal medicine during or after active cancer treatments. However, little is known about how TCM herbal medicine impacts cancer outcomes. This study aimed to evaluate the association between TCM herbal therapy and survival outcomes in patients with stage II or III colorectal cancer.


We conducted an eight-center prospective cohort study in China among patients who had undergone radical resection for stage II and III colorectal cancer. All patients received comprehensive conventional treatments according to National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines, and follow-up visits were conducted over five years. We defined high exposure as a patient’s use of TCM individualized herbs for more than one year, ascertained via clinical interviews. The primary outcome was disease-free survival (DFS), with overall survival (OS) as a secondary outcome.


Between April 2007 and February 2009, we enrolled 312 patients into the cohort; 166 (53.2%) met the definition of high exposure to TCM herbs. Adjusting for covariates, high exposure to TCM was associated with both better DFS (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.62, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.39 to 0.98) and OS (HR = 0.31, 95% CI = 0.14 to 0.68). In subgroup exploratory analysis, the effects demonstrated that the differences in outcomes were statistically significant in patients who had received chemotherapy.


Longer duration of TCM herbal use is associated with improved survival outcomes in stage II and III colorectal cancer patients in China. More research is needed to evaluate the effects and underlying mechanisms of herbal medicine on colorectal cancer outcomes.

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