The department of Integrative Oncology, founded in 1978, is one of the earliest and largest institutions of using integrative cancer therapies including traditional Chinese medicine and western medicine in China. Almost all different types of cancers can be treated in the Integrative Oncology Department, such as lung cancer, breast cancer, liver cancer and gastrointestinal cancer, etc., but the majority of cases were locally advanced or metastatic cancer patients, especially for patients suffering with cancer pain or other related symptoms. Compared with western therapies, integrative medicines have some special characteristics: whole therapeutic concepts, overall treatment regimens, particular evaluated system and individualized cancer treatment. Several Chinese herbs or decoctions help stimulate the immune system, alleviate symptoms of the disease, or even inhibit cancer cells from proliferating, as well as reverse multidrug resistance expression, when administered in combination with chemotherapy drugs, thereby inhibiting tumor growth to a certain extent.
To date, there are two wards with 76 beds in the Department of Integrative Oncology. The out-patient visits are up to 40,000 annually, and the inpatient admission are more than 2,000, the bed utilization rate are over 120%. Dr. Guangru Xie now is the acting executive director. One professor, 4 associate professors and 3 attending physicians are involved in this department.
Various pure Chinese herbal medicine products, such as immune-regulation & anti-cancer capsules, powder for dissipating stomachache, the thyroid gland buffers, etc. All of the Chinese patent medicines are widely used for specific cancer patients.
The main research topics in the department include the terminal care, pain management of the cancer ( involved in the treatment with Chinese herbal medicine and the method of three-ladder pain relief ), and the studies on treatment of the side-effect caused by cancer chemotherapy and radiotherapy with the Chinese herbal medicine. After some years' efforts, the related strategy of treatment for the side effect of chemotherapy on tumor has been concluded systematically.
The department highlights the research on normalized therapy and management of cancer pain, and has been nominated as one of the bases for trial of anti-tumor drugs and clinical trial of drug dependence.