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eISSN: 1643-3750

Efficacy, Safety, and Cost of Therapy of the Traditional Chinese Medicine, Catalpol, in Patients Following Surgical Resection for Locally Advanced Colon Cancer

Baogang Fei, Wei Dai, Shouhe Zhao

Department of Anorectal Surgery, Pingshan District Peoples’ Hospital of Shenzhen, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24:3184-3192

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.907569

Available online:

Published: 2018-05-15


BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy, safety, and cost of treatment of the traditional Chinese herbal medicine, catalpol, in patients following surgical resection for locally advanced colon cancer.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: The 345 patients who had undergone surgical resection for locally advanced colon adenocarcinoma, were divided into three groups: a placebo-treated group (n=115); patients treated with an intraperitoneal injection of 10 mg/kg catalpol twice a day for 12 weeks (treatment group) (n=115); patients treated with 5 mg/kg intravenous bevacizumab twice a week for 12 weeks (control group) (n=115). Serum levels of carbohydrate antigen 19-9 (CA 19-9), carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), matrix metalloproteinases-2 (MMP-2), and matrix metalloproteinases-9 (MMP-9) were measured. Patient overall survival (OS), cancer-free survival (CFS), adverse effects, and cost of therapy were evaluated. Statistical analysis included the Wilcoxon rank sum test and Tukey’s test for clinicopathological response at 95% confidence interval (CI).
RESULTS: Patients in the catalpol-treated group had significantly reduced serum levels of CA 19-9 (p=0.0002, q=3.202), CEA (p=0.0002, q=3.007), MMP-2 (p£0.0001, q=6.883), and MMP-9 (p<0.0001, q=3.347). Only non-fatal adverse effects occurred in the catalpol treatment group (p<0.0001, q=5.375). OS and CFS were significantly increased in the catalpol treatment group compared with the placebo group (p<0.0001 q=7.586). The cost of catalpol treatment compared favorably with other treatments (p<0.0001, q=207.17).
CONCLUSIONS: In this preliminary study, treatment with the Chinese herbal medicine, catalpol, showed benefits in clinical outcome, at low cost, and with no serious complications.

Keywords: Angiogenesis Inducing Agents, Antigen Presentation, Antigens, Tumor-Associated, Carbohydrate, Inflammation Mediators



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