News Release

The correlation between traditional Chinese medicine syndrome of lung cancer and tumor-node-metastasis staging indexes

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Xia & He Publishing Inc.

Background and objectives

With the highest incidence rate and death rate among malignant tumors, lung cancer is the most prevalent malignant tumor worldwide. Tumor-node-metastasis (TNM) staging provides a basis for clinical therapy and prognosis while the fundamental principle of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is the syndrome differentiation and treatment. This study offers an objective foundation for the distinction and classification of TCM syndromes by methodically assessing the relationship between TNM staging indicators and the various types of the syndrome in lung cancer.



To find pertinent material, we searched a number of databases, including CNKI, PubMed, VIP, and Wanfang. Literature on the relationship between TCM syndrome categories and TNM staging indexes of lung cancer published from the database’s inception until May 2023 was gathered. The meta-analysis was carried out using Rev Man 5.4.



In the end, seven pieces of literature totaling 264 patients were included. Lung cancer is mainly characterized by phlegm dampness syndrome, Qi Yin deficiency syndrome, Yin deficiency internal heat syndrome, and Qi stagnation and blood stasis syndrome. In stage I and II, phlegm dampness syndrome > Yin deficiency internal heat syndrome (p < 0.5), phlegm dampness syndrome > Qi Yin deficiency syndrome (p < 0.5), phlegm dampness syndrome > Qi stagnation and blood stasis syndrome (p < 0.5). In stages III and IV, Qi Yin deficiency syndrome > Qi stagnation and blood stasis syndrome > Yin deficiency internal heat syndrome > phlegm dampness syndrome (p < 0.5).



The small sample size of the included literature may lead to a publishing bias. Therefore, clinical experimental investigations should be used to reinforce the regulations and standards for publishing bias. Research procedures for TCM syndrome sorts and Western medicine detection indicators should also be as random as possible. In conclusion, more weight should be given to the phlegm dampness syndrome type in TNM stages I and II and the Qi Yin deficiency syndrome in TNM stages III and IV. Because of this study’s shortcomings, a larger sample size and a traditional scientific research design are still needed.


The study was recently published in the Future Integrative Medicine.

Future Integrative Medicine (FIM) publishes both basic and clinical research, including but not limited to randomized controlled trials, intervention studies, cohort studies, observational studies, qualitative and mixed method studies, animal studies, and systematic reviews.


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