Study Abstracts: Pine Street 10 Year Survival Studies

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Lung Cancer Survival With Herbal Medicine & Vitamins In A Whole-Systems Approach: 10-Year Follow-Up Data Analyzed With Marginal Structural Models and Propensity Score Methods

McCulloch MF, Broffman M, van der Laan M, Hubbard A, Kushi L, Kramer A, Gao J, Colford JM: Lung Cancer Survival With Herbal Medicine & Vitamins In A Whole-Systems Approach: 10-Year Follow-Up Data Analyzed With Marginal Structural Models and Propensity Score Methods. 2011. [Epub ahead of print, PMID 21964510] Integrative Cancer Therapies.

PubMed link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21824893

Abstract: Complementary and alternative medicines are used by up to 48% of lung cancer patients but have seen little formal assessment of survival efficacy. In this 10-year retrospective survival study, the authors investigated Pan-Asian medicine + vitamins (PAM+V) therapy in a consecutive case series of all non-small-cell lung cancer patients (n = 239) presenting at a San Francisco Bay Area Chinese medicine center (Pine Street Clinic). They compared short-term treatment lasting the duration of chemotherapy/radiotherapy with long-term therapy continuing beyond conventional therapy. They also compared PAM+V plus conventional therapy with conventional therapy alone, using concurrent controls from the Kaiser Permanente Northern California and California Cancer Registries. They adjusted for confounding with Kaplan-Meier, Cox regression, and newer methods – propensity score and marginal structural models (MSMs), which when analyzing data from observational studies or clinical practice records can provide results comparable with randomized trials. Long-term use of PAM+V beyond completion of chemotherapy reduced stage IIIB deaths by 83% and stage IV by 72% compared with short-term use only for the duration of chemotherapy. Long-term PAM+V combined with conventional therapy reduced stage IIIA deaths by 46%, stage IIIB by 62%, and stage IV by 69% compared with conventional therapy alone. Survival rates for stage IV patients treated with PAM+V were 82% at 1 year, 68% at 2 years, and 14% at 5 years. PAM+V combined with conventional therapy improved survival in stages IIIA, IIIB, and IV, compared with conventional therapy alone. Prospective trials using PAM+V with conventional therapy for lung cancer patients are justified.

Colon Cancer Survival With Herbal Medicine & Vitamins In A Whole-Systems Approach: 10-Year Follow-Up Data Analyzed With Marginal Structural Models And Propensity Score Methods

McCulloch MF, Broffman M, van der Laan M, Hubbard A, Kushi L, Abrams DI, Gao J, Colford JM: Colon Cancer Survival With Herbal Medicine & Vitamins In A Whole-Systems Approach: 10-Year Follow-Up Data Analyzed With Marginal Structural Models And Propensity Score Methods. 2011. Sep 30. [Epub ahead of print, PMID 21964510] Integrative Cancer Therapies.

PubMed link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21964510

Abstract: Although localized colon cancer is often successfully treated with surgery, advanced disease requires aggressive systemic therapy that has lower effectiveness. Approximately 30% to 75% of patients with colon cancer use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), but there is limited formal evidence of survival efficacy. In a consecutive case series with 10-year follow-up of all colon cancer patients (n = 193) presenting at a San Francisco Bay-Area center for Chinese medicine (Pine Street Clinic, San Anselmo, CA), the authors compared survival in patients choosing short-term treatment lasting the duration of chemotherapy/radiotherapy with those continuing long-term. To put these data into the context of treatment responses seen in conventional medical practice, they also compared survival with Pan-Asian medicine + vitamins (PAM+V) with that of concurrent external controls from Kaiser Permanente Northern California and California Cancer Registries. Kaplan-Meier, traditional Cox regression, and more modern methods were used for causal inference-namely, propensity score and marginal structural models (MSMs), which have not been used before in studies of cancer survival and Chinese herbal medicine. PAM+V combined with conventional therapy, compared with conventional therapy alone, reduced the risk of death in stage I by 95%, stage II by 64%, stage III by 29%, and stage IV by 75%. There was no significant difference between short-term and long-term PAM+V. Combining PAM+V with conventional therapy improved survival, compared with conventional therapy alone, suggesting that prospective trials combining PAM+V with conventional therapy are justified.