Research appearing in Cancer (2006;24:419-430), indicates that Chinese herb preparations utilizing astragalus may improve the effectiveness of platinum-based chemotherapy in patients suffering from advanced non-small-cell lung cancer. The research was a meta-analysis of 34 clinical trials involving over 2,800 patients.

Twelve studies, involving 940 patients, showed Chinese herbs reduced the risk of death at 12 months by one-third. Two other studies, involving more than 200 patients, herbal formula Jin Fu Kang reduced the risk of death at 24 months by nearly 50%. Four other studies, involving more than 250 patients, the herbal formula Ai Di improved the patients’ ability to perform activities of daily living by more than 25%.

This study was a meta-analysis of several studies and further research needs to be done. Prior to being incorporated into practice, these results require confirmation with rigorously controlled trials, according to the authors.