Objective: Injection of brucea javanica oil emulsion (IBJOE), one of Chinese patent drugs has been widely used for lung cancer (LC) in China, and is known to provide some favorable outcomes, in particular when it combined with conventional treatment. However, little available best evidence is known about its effect and safety. This paper aims to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of IBJOE plus chemoradiotherapy to alleviate symptoms of LC patients.
Methods: A complete literature searching was conducted in databases including Chinese Biomedical Literature Database, China Academic Journals Full-text Database, Chinese Scientific Journals Database, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, MEDLINE, and EMBASE to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of IBJOE with chemoradiotherapy versus chemoradiotherapy alone for LC patients regardless of blinding, duration of treatment or duration of follow-up. All searching dates were from the beginning to December 2011. Quality of the included studies was assessed using the method by Cochrane Reviewer Handbook, and data analysis was performed using RevMan 5.10 software developed by The Cochrane Collaboration.
Results: The searching yielded over 1371 relevant citations, most of which did not meet the inclusion criteria. Finally, only 21 RCTs involving 1619 patients were included, and all the studies were of poor quality. Pooled analyses were performed to reveal that compared with chemoradiotherapy alone, IBJOE plus chemoradiotherapy had a better complete response rate (relative risk (RR) = 1.42; 95% CI 1.05 to 1.92; P = 0.02) and improved quality of life (RR = 1.83; 95% CI 1.63 to 2.07; P < 0.00001) measured by Karnofsky Performance Status scale. In addition, there was a significant difference on the outcome of long-term survival rate, level of immune function, and some incidences of adverse effects.
Conclusions: IBJOE plus chemoradiotherapy may have positive effects on LC patients in response rate, improvement of quality of life, and reducing incidences of some adverse effects compared with chemoradiotherapy alone. However, the results need to be viewed with caution because of low quality of the included studies.