Article Abstract

A clinical study on the use of Huaier granules in post-surgical treatment of triple-negative breast cancer

Authors: Minghao Wang, Ying Hu, Lingmi Hou, Qinwen Pan, Peng Tang, Jun Jiang


Background: In recent years, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has been developing rapidly in cancer treatment. Huaier is a widely used fungus by TCM to treat different kinds of cancers. Its good efficacy in prevention of tumor recurrence and metastasis has been proven by a large number of clinical studies. In order to further investigate the efficacy and safety of Huaier granules in post-surgical therapy for stage I– III triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) patients, we performed a case-control clinical study to observe its effects on the post-surgical safety and survival rates of these patients.
Methods: Two hundred and one TNBC patients underwent modified radical mastectomy were selected, they were admitted to our hospital between October 2010 to September 2014. The patients were randomly allocated to the experimental group (101 cases) or the control group (100 cases). Patients in the experimental group were treated with Huaier granules, by orally taking 20 g each time with 3 times a day. Medication was started during chemotherapy or at the time in 6 or 18 months after it. The control group did not receive any TCM preparations during this process. The disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) were measured as the main outcome.
Results: The median follow-up time was 46 months. For the 100 patients in control group, 5-year DFS and OS was 82% and 86% respectively, while 87.1% and 90.1% for the 101 patients in the experimental group. The difference was not statistically significant. However, stage III patients in the control group showed a 5-year DFS of 53.8% and OS of 65.4%, which were significantly lower than that of stage III patients in the experimental group as 81.3% and 87.5%. In the experimental group, 10 patients with 6-month medication showed disease progression, whereas only 3 patients with 18-month medication showed disease progression. This difference was statistically significant as well.
Conclusions: Huaier granules could play an important role in post-surgical adjuvant therapy of TNBC patients, specially by effectively increasing the DFS and OS of breast cancer patients at middle to advanced stage.