Background: Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) possesses several advantages for treating patients withhepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The theory of ‘Jianpi Huayu Therapy’ rooted from ‘Jin Kui Yao Lue’isone of the most important therapies in this respect. This study was conducted to investigate the clinical effectand safety of hepatectomy combining with ‘Jianpi Huayu Therapy’ in the treatment of HCC. Materials and
Methods: One hundred and twenty patients with HCC were randomized allocated into hepatectomy combinedwith ‘Jianpi Huayu Therapy’ group (treatment group, n=60) and hepatectomy alone group (control group,n=60). Disease- free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) were the primary end-points. Liver function atthe end of one week after surgery, complications, average days of hospitalization as well as performance status(PS) at the end of one month post operation were also compared.
Results: No significant differences existedbetween two groups on baseline analysis (p>0.05). No treatment related mortality occurred in either group.Post-operative complications were detected among 14 patients (23.3%) in the treatment group, and 12 (20.0%)in the control group (p=0.658). Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) at the end of one week after operation was lowerin the treatment than control groups (p=0.042). No significant differences in other indexes of liver function werediscovered between two groups. Average days of hospitalization reduced by 0.9 day in treatment group than incontrol (p=0.034). During follow-up, 104 patients (86.6%) developed recurrence. The rates of 1-, 3-, and 5-yearDFS and median DFS for all patients were 77.4%, 26.3%, 9.0% and 25.6 months (range, 6.0~68.0), respectively(78.2%, 29.2%, 14.3% and 28.7 months for the 48 patients in the treatment group and 75.0%, 23.3%, 6.4%,and 22.6 months for the 56 patients in the control group (p=0.045)). 101 patients had died at the time of censor,with 1-, 3-, and 5-year overall survival rates and median survival for all patients of 97.5%, 76.4%, 40.5% and51.2 months (range, 10.0~72.0), respectively (98.3%, 78.0%, 43.6% and 52.6 months, for treatment and 96.7%,74.7%, 37.4%, and 49.8 months, for controls, respectively (p=0.048)).
Conclusions: Hepatectomy combinedwith ‘Jianpi Huayu therapy’was effective in the treatment of HCC, and reduced post-operative recurrence andmetastasis and improved DFS and OS of HCC patients.