Transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) is the most widely used primary treatment for unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) because of its survival benefit, although its clinical effect is still far from satisfactory. In China, there has been a long history of using traditional Chinese medicine in the treatment of liver cancer and other malignancies. In this study, the authors evaluated the effect of combined therapy with TACE and JDF granule preparation (a traditional Chinese herbal medicine formula) in the treatment of patients with unresectable HCC on survival. Clinical data, including baseline, performance status change, and survival time of 165 patients with unresectable HCC seen between January 2002 and December 2007 were retrospectively analyzed. Among the 165 patients, 80 patients (study group) received combined therapy consisting of TACE and a long-term maintenance treatment with oral JDF granule preparation, and 85 patients (control group) received TACE alone. The survival rate of both groups was calculated by the Kaplan-Meier method. Factors possibly affecting survival were assessed by multivariate analysis in the Cox proportional hazard model. The median overall survival was 9.2 months (95% confidence interval [95% CI], 6.94-1.46) in the study group versus 5.87 months (95% CI, 4.21-7.52) in the control group. In the study group (TACE + JDF), 1-year, 2-year, and 3-year survival rates were 41.2%, 18.4%, and 9.6%, respectively. The Cox regression analysis revealed the therapy model to be an independent predictor of patient prognosis. Current study data demonstrated that TACE combined with JDF granule preparation could improve the prognosis of patients. TACE combined with JDF granule preparation may prolong survival of patients with unresectable HCC. Cancer 2009. © 2009 American Cancer Society.