Reuters Health Information: Chinese herb prolongs recurrence-free survival after curative resection of HCC
Chinese herb prolongs recurrence-free survival after curative resection of HCC
Last Updated: 2018-06-05
By Reuters Staff
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - An aqueous extract of Poria robiniophila called Huaier granule improves recurrence-free survival (RFS) and overall survival after radical surgical resection of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), researchers from China report.
Huaier granule is approved as a traditional Chinese medicine by the Chinese State Food and Drug Administration and is used alone or combined with other drugs in the treatment of various cancers, including liver cancer. It modulates innate immunity and exerts antitumor responses by inducing cell-cycle arrest and inhibiting tumor angiogenesis.
Dr. Ping Yin from Tongji Medical College, in Wuhan, and colleagues investigated the effect of Huaier granule as postoperative adjuvant to prevent early tumor recurrence in their phase 4 randomized trial of 1,044 patients who underwent curative resection of HCC.
The final analytical set included 686 patients in the Huaier group and 316 in the control group (no further treatment).
After 96 weeks of follow-up, the recurrence-free survival rate was significantly higher in the Huaier group (62%) than in the control group (49%, P=0.0001), the team reports in Gut, May 25.
Mean time to recurrence was significantly longer in the Huaier group (75.5 weeks) than in the control group (68.5 weeks).
Factors associated with benefiting from Huaier granule included age <65, male sex, the presence of a single tumor, tumor size 2-10 cm and having an alpha-fetoprotein level <400 ng/mL.
Overall survival at 96 weeks was 95% in the Huaier group 91% in the control group (P=0.02), and extrahepatic recurrence rates were significantly lower in the Huaier group (8.6%) than in the control group (13.6%).
Adverse event rates were similar in the Huaier (25.5%) and control (22.8%) groups, and all such events were mild and tolerable.
"The study provides compelling evidence for the effect of Huaier granule as postoperative adjuvant on HCC recurrence and long-term survival," the researchers conclude.
Dr. Yin and two coauthors did not respond to a request for comments.