The complex pathology of cancer development requires correspondingly complex
treatments. The traditional application of individual single-target drugs fails to sufficiently treat
cancer with durable therapeutic effects and tolerable adverse events. Therefore, synergistic
combinations of drugs represent a promising way to enhance efficacy, overcome toxicity and
optimize safety. Chinese Herbal Medicines (CHMs) have long been used as such synergistic
combinations. Therefore, we summarized the synergistic combinations of CHMs used in the treatment
of cancer and their roles in chemotherapy in terms of enhancing efficacy, reducing side effects, immune modulation, as
well as abrogating drug resistance. Our conclusions support the development of further science-based holistic modalities
for cancer care.
Keywords: Cancer treatment, Chinese medicine, drug resistance, effect, immunity, side effects, synergistic combination.
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