Ren Shen Yangrong Tang for Fatigue in Cancer Survivors: A Phase I/II Open-Label Study.
J Altern Complement Med. 2015 May ;21(5):281-7. Epub 2015 Apr 28. PMID: 25918996
OBJECTIVES: This open-label, prospective, phase I/II trial was performed to establish the safety and efficacy of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) herbal products for treating non-anemia-related fatigue in patients with cancer. Although this practice is widespread in China, it has not been confirmed in a prospective clinical study.
DESIGN: Thirty-three patients who had completed cancer treatment, had stable disease and no anemia, and reported moderate to severe fatigue (rated≥4 on a 0-10 scale) were enrolled in a TCM outpatient clinic. Patients took Ren Shen Yangrong Tang (RSYRT) decoction, a soup containing 12 TCM herbs, twice a day for 6 weeks. RSYRT aims to correct qi deficiency. Fatigue was assessed before and after RSYRT therapy, which all patients completed.
RESULTS: No discomfort or toxicity was observed. Before the study, all patients had had fatigue for at least 4 months. Fatigue severity decreased significantly from before therapy to 6 weeks after therapy: from 7.06 to 3.30 on a 0-10 scale (p<0.001). Fatigue category (mild, moderate, severe) shifted significantly (p=0.024): Of 22 patients with severe fatigue (rated≥7) before therapy, 11 had mild fatigue and 11 had moderate fatigue after TCM treatment. The time-to-fatigue-alleviation was 2-3 weeks.
CONCLUSION: RSYRT therapy was safe and was associated with fatigue improvement in nonanemic cancer survivors, consistent with historical TCM clinical practice experience. Because of a possible placebo effect in this open-label study, decoction RSYRT warrants further study in randomized clinical trials to confirm its effectiveness for managing moderate to severe fatigue.