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Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Chinese herbal medicine for oesophageal cancer

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, January 2016
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  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (79th percentile)

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211 Mendeley
Title
Chinese herbal medicine for oesophageal cancer
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, January 2016
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd004520.pub7
Pubmed ID
Authors

Xi Chen, Linyu Deng, Xuehua Jiang, Taixiang Wu

Abstract

Oesophageal cancer is the seventh leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Traditional Chinese herbal medicine is sometimes used as an adjunct to radiotherapy or chemotherapy for this type of cancer. This review was first published in 2007 and updated in 2009; this 2016 update is the latest version of the review. To assess the efficacy and possible adverse effects of the addition of Chinese herbal medicine to treatment with radiotherapy or chemotherapy for oesophageal cancer. We searched the Cochrane Upper Gastrointestinal and Pancreatic Diseases Group Trials Register, the Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, EMBASE, Allied and Complementary Medicine Database (AMED), China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), VIP database, Wanfang database and the Chinese Cochrane Centre Controlled Trials Register up to 1 October, 2015. We also searched databases of ongoing trials, the Internet and reference lists. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) comparing the use of radiotherapy or chemotherapy with and without the addition of Chinese herbal medicine. At least two review authors independently extracted data and assessed trial quality. We tried to contact the 142 study authors by telephone, and finally included nine studies with 490 participants. All included studies were conducted in China, and allocated advanced oesophageal cancer patients to radiotherapy or chemotherapy groups, with and without additional Chinese herbal medicine. Quality of life, short-term therapeutic effects, TCM symptoms and adverse events caused by radiotherapy or chemotherapy were reported in these studies. Overall, we considered the trials to be at unclear or high risk of bias.The quality of life measure was conducted before and after the intervention; our analysis showed a beneficial effect, both in number of participants experiencing an improvement (risk ratio (RR) 2.20, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.42 to 3.39; 5 RCTs, 233 participants, change of performance status score ≥ 10) and number of participants experiencing a deterioration (RR 0.41, 95% CI 0.27 to 0.62; 6 RCTs, 287 participants, change of performance status score ≤ 10). We judged this to have low quality evidence, downgrading quality of evidence for risk of bias and imprecision, and upgrading quality of evidence for the large effect.For short-term therapeutic effects, the results suggest that traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has a positive impact on improvement (complete response + partial response) (RR 1.17, 95% CI 1.02 to 1.35; 8 RCTs, 450 participants), moderate quality evidence and downgrading for risk of bias. There was no significant difference for progressive disease (RR 0.73, 95% CI 0.52 to 1.01; 8 RCTs, 450 participants), low quality evidence and downgrading for risk of bias and imprecision. Three studies assessed this outcome after four weeks or three months' follow-up, the remaining studies gave no detailed information for this outcome. TCM symptoms, which was similar to short-term therapeutic effects evaluated with TCM clinical criteria, was diagnosed in two studies of 88 people at the end of the intervention. The results suggest that TCM has a positive impact on both total effectiveness (RR 1.84, 95% CI 1.20 to 2.81) and ineffectiveness (RR 0.22, 95% CI 0.05 to 0.93); we judged the studies to have very low quality evidence, downgrading for risk of bias and imprecision.Nine studies reported a series of adverse events caused by radiotherapy or chemotherapy at the end of the intervention, including mucositis, radiation oesophagitis, arrest of bone marrow, gastrointestinal reactions, renal and hepatic impairment, white blood cell descent, neurotoxicity, cardiac toxicity and anaemia. For those containing multiple studies, we conducted a pooled analysis. As a result, TCM showed a significant effect on radiation oesophagitis (RR 0.66, 95% CI 0.47 to 0.94; 2 RCTs, 90 participants), gastrointestinal reactions (RR 0.54, 95% CI 0.36 to 0.81; 4 RCTs, 268 participants) and white blood cell descent (RR 0.60, 95% CI 0.44 to 0.83; 4 RCTs, 224 participants). The quality of evidence was low or very low, downgrading for risk of bias and imprecision. We currently find no evidence to determine whether TCM is an effective treatment for oesophageal cancer. The effect of TCM on short-term therapeutic effects is uncertain. TCM probably has positive effects on quality of life and on some adverse events caused by radiotherapy or chemotherapy in advanced oesophageal cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy or chemotherapy. The results of the review need to be interpreted cautiously owing to overall low quality evidence. Future trials should be large and correctly designed to detect important clinical effects and minimise risk of bias.

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X Demographics

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Mendeley readers

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 211 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 211 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 30 14%
Student > Bachelor 29 14%
Student > Ph. D. Student 20 9%
Researcher 16 8%
Other 14 7%
Other 31 15%
Unknown 71 34%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 61 29%
Nursing and Health Professions 28 13%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 10 5%
Psychology 10 5%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 6 3%
Other 21 10%
Unknown 75 36%
Attention Score in Context

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 7. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 21 November 2016.
All research outputs
#5,211,074
of 25,374,647 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
#7,136
of 11,484 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#83,977
of 403,904 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
#162
of 230 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 25,374,647 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done well and is in the 79th percentile: it's in the top 25% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 11,484 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 39.9. This one is in the 37th percentile – i.e., 37% of its peers scored the same or lower than it.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 403,904 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 79% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 230 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one is in the 29th percentile – i.e., 29% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.