International forskning

Current status of Complementary and Alternative Medicine Interventions in the Management of Pancreatic Cancer – An Overview

Aleksandra Tarasiuk 1, Grzegorz Mirocha 2, Jakub Fichna 2

  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Medical University of Lodz, Mazowiecka 5, 92-215, Lodz, Poland.
  • 2Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Medical University of Lodz, Mazowiecka 5, 92-215, Lodz, Poland.


Pancreatic cancer (PC) remains the deadliest cancer worldwide. Most patients are diagnosed at the advanced or metastatic stage, leading to a poor prognosis. Awareness of the limitations of current therapy and accompanying pain, depression, malnutrition, and side effects of chemoradiotherapy may lead patients and physicians towards complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). CAM refers to a diverse set of medical and healthcare practices, products, and systems that are not part of conventional Western medicine. Despite the low-quality evidence supporting the efficacy of these methods, they remain appealing due to patients’ beliefs, fear of death, and the slow development of conventional therapy. Hence, the possibility of using natural products for pancreatic cancer is increasing. CAM options such as: medical cannabis, plants, fungi, herbal formulas, and injections, which originate primarily from traditional Chinese or Japanese medicine i.e. Curcuma longa, Panax ginseng, Poria cocos, Hochuekkito, Juzentaihoto, and Rikkunshito, Shi-quan-da-bu-tang/TJ-48, Huang-qin-tang, Shuangbai San, Wen Jing Zhi Tong Fang, Xiang-Sha-Liu-jun-zi-tang, Aidi injection, Brucea javanica oil emulsion/Yadanziyouru injection, Compound Kushen injection, Huachansu injection, Kangai injection and Kanglaite injections are becoming promising candidates for the management of pancreatic cancer. The abovementioned substances/medications are the most popular or potentially effective in PC treatment and consequently CAM-based adjuvant therapy through improving patients’ quality of life, might be a useful addition in the treatment of pancreatic cancer patients.