Non-small cell lung cancer includes squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, and large cell carcinoma. Compared with small cell carcinoma, non-small cancer cells grow and divide, spread and metastasize more slowly with a long survival. It accounts for about 80% of all lung cancers, among which advanced non-small cell lung cancer is prevalent due to late detection.
China has a long history of traditional Chinese medicine that are widely used for treating a variety of diseases and tumors. Chinese people are excelled at using natural herbal medicine as alternative and complementary therapy to the body in a comprehensive manner.
Ginsenoside Rg3 is a pharmacologically bioactive compounds extracted from ginseng and has brilliant antitumor activities. Many studies indicate that ginsenoside Rg3 in combination with first-line chemotherapy drugs can deliver synergistic benefits.
A Chinese research team conducted a meta-analysis to evaluate the efficacy of combination therapy of ginseng and first-line chemotherapy drugs in treating non-small cell lung cancer
They collected and analyzed the existing randomized clinical trials from six databases and selected 22 eligible clinical trials including 2202 patients. These trials were conducted in China between 2006 and 2020.
The results of the analysis showed that, compared with chemotherapy agent alone, a combination of ginsenoside Rg3 and first-line chemotherapy drugs achieved improvements in:
- objective tumor response rates
- disease control rate
- karnofsky performance status (functional impairment)
- one-year survival rate
- two-year survival rate
- weight change
- the VEGF levels (serum tumor biomarkers)
- the incidence of gastrointestinal reactions
- bone marrow suppression
The study concluded that ginsenoside Rg3 could strengthen drug efficacy and reduce drug-induced toxicity from chemotherapy.
In addition to non-small cell lung cancer, recent clinical trials also indicate the synergistic effects of ginseng plus chemotherapy on digestive cancer and breast cancer. Ginsenosides Rg3 is a promising adjuvant for first-line chemotherapy in the cancer treatment.
Peng, Ze & Wu, Wen & Yi, Ping. (2021). The Efficacy of Ginsenoside Rg3 Combined with First-line Chemotherapy in the Treatment of Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer in China: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials. Frontiers in Pharmacology. 11. 630825. 10.3389/fphar.2020.630825.