Kampo medicine in perioperative care for cancer patients

Koji Nishijima, Genichi Nishimura, Toshiaki Saeki, Chikako Shimizu, Hiroyoshi Doihara, Tadahiko Shien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Operative stress causes various changes in the body, and immunological hypofunction and malnutrition increase complications and adversely affect long-term prognosis. Therefore, reducing operative stress as much as possible, minimizing complications after surgery, and aiming for a satisfactory postoperative course are important. However, difficult and unresolvable situations often arise when only the conventional Western medicine approach is used because the situation and condition varies for each patient. We believe that Kampo medicine is very useful in diverse situations. Particularly, Kampo medicine has been used more frequently in recent years, with the expectation of numerous effects, because the effectiveness of Kampo medicine on various disease states has been proven and the pharmacological ingredients and the mechanisms by which Kampo medicine exerts its effects have been better clarified scientifically. Kampo medicine will have an effect in various situations, and we think that Kampo medicine occupies an important position in team-based medical care with multiple specialists. Kampo medicine compounds have been reported to be useful for the following conditions: Hochuekkito and Juzentaihoto for improving immunocompetence after operative stress, Daikenchuto and Rikkunshito for improving postoperative gastrointestinal motility, Shakuyakukanzoto for postoperative wound pain control, Yokukansan for postoperative delirium, and Inchinkoto for postoperative liver dysfunction. The availability of numerous treatment choices that work well in specific situations would be useful for cancer patients during the perioperative period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2430-2446
Number of pages17
JournalJapanese Journal of Cancer and Chemotherapy
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015


  • Cancer
  • Kampo medicine
  • Perioperative period

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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