Changes in the Laboratory Data for Cancer Patients Treated with Korean-medicine-based Inpatient Care

  • Yoon, Jeungwon (East-West Cancer Center, Dunsan Korean Hospital of Daejeon University) ;
  • Cho, Chong-Kwan (East-West Cancer Center, Dunsan Korean Hospital of Daejeon University) ;
  • Shin, Ji-Eun (Department of Statistics, Chungnam National University) ;
  • Yoo, Hwa-Seung (East-West Cancer Center, Dunsan Korean Hospital of Daejeon University)
  • Received : 2013.11.07
  • Accepted : 2014.01.08
  • Published : 2014.03.31


Objectives: The study aimed to determine changes in laboratory data for cancer patients receiving Korean medicine (KM) care, with a focus on patients' functional status, cancer-coagulation factors and cancer immunity. Methods: We conducted an observational study of various cancer patients in all stages admitted to the East-West Cancer Center (EWCC), Dunsan Korean Hospital of Daejeon University, from Mar. 2011 to Aug. 2011. All patients were under the center's multi-modality Korean-medicine-based inpatient cancer care program. The hospitalization stay at EWCC ranged from 9 to 34 days. A total of 80 patients were followed in their routine hematologic laboratory screenings performed before and after hospitalization. Patients were divided into three groups depending on the status of their treatment: prevention of recurrence and metastasis group, KM treatment only group, and combination of conventional and KM treatment group. The lab reports included natural killer cell count (CD16 + CD56), fibrinogen, white blood cell (WBC), lymphocytes, monocytes, neutrophil, red blood cell (RBC), hemoglobin, platelet, Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR), and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status. Results: With a Focus on patients' functional status, cancer-coagulation factors and cancer immunity, emphasis was placed on the NK cell count, fibrinogen count, and ECOG scores. Data generally revealed decreased fibrinogen count, fluctuating NK cell count and decreased ECOG, meaning improved performance status in all groups. The KM treatment only group showed the largest decrease in mean fibrinogen count and the largest increase in mean NK cell count. However, the group's ECOG score showed the smallest decrease, which may be due to the concentration of late-cancer-stage patients in that particular group. Conclusions: Multi-modality KM inpatient care may have positive effect on lowering the cancer coagulation factor fibrinogen, but its correlation with the change in the NK cell count is not clear.


Supported by : Korean Institute of Oriental Medicine


  1. Lwaleed BA, Cooper AJ, Voegeli D, Getliffe K. Tissue factor: a critical role in inflammation and cancer. Biol Res Nurs. 2007;9(2):97-107.
  2. Lin WW, Karin M. A cytokine-mediated link between innate immunity, inflammation, and cancer. J Clin Invest. 2007;117(5):1175-83.
  3. Reynes G, Vila V, Martin M, Parada A, Fleitas T, Reganon E, et al. Circulating markers of angiogenesis, inflammation, and coagulation in patients with glioblastoma. J Neurooncol. 2011;102(1):35-41.
  4. Stadnisky MD, Xie X, Coats ER, Bullock TN, Brown MG. Self MHC class I-licensed NK cells enhance adaptive CD8 T-cell viral immunity. Blood. 2011;117(19):5133-41.
  5. Fernandez PM, Patierno SR, Rickles FR. Tissue factor and fibrin in tumor angiogenesis. Semin Thromb Hemost. 2004;30(1):31-44.
  6. Buller HR, van Doormaal FF, van Sluis GL, Kamphuisen PW. Cancer and thrombosis: from molecular mechanisms to clinical presentations. J Thromb Haemost. 2007;5:246-54.
  7. Palumbo JS. Mechanisms linking tumor cell-associated procoagulant function to tumor dissemination. Semin Thromb Hemost. 2008;34(2):154-60.
  8. Rickles FR, Patierno S, Fernandez PM. Tissue factor, thrombin, and cancer. Chest. 2003;124(3 Suppl): 58S-68S.
  9. Khorana AA, Fine RL. Pancreatic cancer and thromboembolic disease. Lancet Oncol. 2004;5(11):655-63.
  10. Liu L, Duan JA, Tang Y, Guo J, Yang N, Ma H, et al. Taoren-Honghua herb pair and its main components promoting blood circulation through influencing on hemorheology, plasma coagulation and platelet aggregation. J Ethnopharmacol. 2012;139(2):381-7.
  11. Liu Z, Shen Y, Cui N, Yang J. Clinical observation of immunity for severe acute pancreatitis. Inflammation. 2011;34(5):426-31.
  12. Liang JQ, Mi SQ, Wang NS. [Anticoagulative effect and antiplatelet aggregation effect of combination of Hirudo and Tabanus on rat model of blood stasis syndrome]. Zhong Yao Cai. 2009;32(9):1347-50. Chinese.
  13. Ma H, Yang J, Nan SL, Gong JN, Liu XF. [Effects of Yangyin Shengjin Decoction on hemorheological parameters and coagulation factors in model rabbits with syndrome of excessive heat consuming body fluid and blood stasis]. Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Xue Bao. 2005;3(1):39-42. Chinese.
  14. Meng MB, Wen QL, Cui YL, She B, Zhang RM. Meta-analysis: traditional Chinese medicine for improving immune response in patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma after transcatheter arterial chemoembolization. Explore (NY). 2011;7(1):37-43.
  15. Zhao CL, Peng LJ, Zhang ZL, Zhang T, Li HM. [Effect of acupuncture on the activity of the peripheral blood T lymphocyte subsets and NK cells in patients with colorectal cancer liver metastasis]. Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2010;30(1):10-2. Chinese.
  16. Oken MM, Creech RH, Tormey DC, Horton J, Davis TE, McFadden ET, et al. Toxicity and response criteria of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group. Am J Clin Oncol. 1982;5(6):649-55.
  17. Luo J, Ling Z, Mao W. [Circulating lymphocyte subsets in patients with lung cancer and their prognostic value]. Zhongguo Fei Ai Za Zhi. 2011;14(8):669-73. Chinese.
  18. Soygur T, Beduk Y, Baltaci S, Yaman O, Tokgoz G. The prognostic value of peripheral blood lymphocyte subsets in patients with bladder carcinoma treated using neoadjuvant M-VEC chemotherapy. BJU Int. 1999;84(9):1069-72.
  19. Gillgrass A, Ashkar A. Stimulating natural killer cells to protect against cancer: recent developments. Expert Rev Clin Immunol. 2011;7(3):367-82.
  20. Hus I, Staroslawska E, Bojarska-Junak A, Dobrzynska-Rutkowska A, Surdacka A, Wdowiak P, et al. CD3+/CD16+CD56+ cell numbers in peripheral blood are correlated with higher tumor burden in patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Folia Histochem Cytobiol. 2011;49(1):183-7.
  21. Plonquet A, Haioun C, Jais JP, Debard AL, Salles G, Bene MC, et al. Peripheral blood natural killer cell count is associated with clinical outcome in patients with aaIPI 2-3 diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Ann Oncol. 2007;18(7):1209-15.
  22. Stewart DA, Guo D, Luider J, Auer I, Klassen J, Morris D, et al. The CD3- 16+ 56+ NK cell count independently predicts autologous blood stem cell mobilization. Bone Marrow Transplant. 2001;27(12):1237-43.
  23. Shen Y, Lu C, Tian W, Wang L, Cui B, Jiao Y, et al. Possible association of decreased NKG2D expression levels and suppression of the activity of natural killer cells in patients with colorectal cancer. Int J Oncol. 2012;40(4):1285-90.
  24. Konjevic G, Radenkovic S, Srdic T, Jurisic V, Stamatovic Lj, Milovic M. Association of decreased NK cell activity and $IFN{\gamma}$ expression with pSTAT dysregulation in breast cancer patients. J BUON. 2011;16(2):219-26.
  25. Boccaccio C, Sabatino G, Medico E, Girolami F, Follenzi A, Reato G, et al. The MET oncogene drives a genetic programme linking cancer to haemostasis. Nature. 2005;434(7031):396-400.
  26. Rong Y, Post DE, Pieper RO, Durden DL, Van Meir EG, Brat DJ. PTEN and hypoxia regulate tissue factor expression and plasma coagulation by glioblastoma. Cancer Res. 2005;65(4):1406-13.
  27. Shoji M, Hancock WW, Abe K, Micko C, Casper KA, Baine RM, et al. Activation of coagulation and angiogenesis in cancer: immunohistochemical localization in situ of clotting proteins and vascular endothelial growth factor in human cancer. Am J Pathol. 1998;152(2):399-411.
  28. Yu JL, May L, Lhotak V, Shahrzad S, Shirasawa S, Weitz JI, et al. Oncogenic events regulate tissue factor expression in colorectal cancer cells: implications for tumor progression and angiogenesis. Blood. 2005;105(4):1734-41.
  29. Abe K, Shoji M, Chen J, Bierhaus A, Danave I, Micko C, et al. Regulation of vascular endothelial growth factor production and angiogenesis by the cytoplasmic tail of tissue factor. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1999;96(15):8663-8.
  30. Belting M, Dorrell MI, Sandgren S, Aguilar E, Ahamed J, Dorfleutner A, et al. Regulation of angiogenesis by tissue factor cytoplasmic domain signaling. Nat Med. 2004;10(5):502-9.
  31. Zhang Y, Deng Y, Luther T, Muller M, Ziegler R, Waldherr R, et al. Tissue factor controls the balance of angiogenic and antiangiogenic properties of tumor cells in mice. J Clin Invest. 1994;94(3):1320-7.
  32. Contrino J, Hair G, Kreutzer DL, Rickles FR. In situ detection of tissue factor in vascular endothelial cells: correlation with the malignant phenotype of human breast disease. Nat Med. 1996;2(2):209-15.
  33. Hair GA, Padula S, Zeff R, Schmeizl M, Contrino J, Kreutzer DL, et al. Tissue factor expression in human leukemic cells. Leuk Res. 1996;20(1):1-11.
  34. Guan M, Jin J, Su B, Liu WW, Lu Y. Tissue factor expression and angiogenesis in human glioma. Clin Biochem. 2002;35(4):321-5.
  35. Sawada M, Miyake S, Ohdama S, Matsubara O, Masuda S, Yakumaru K, et al. Expression of tissue factor in non-small-cell lung cancers and its relationship to metastasis. Br J Cancer. 1999;79(3-4):472-7.
  36. Nakasaki T, Wada H, Shigemori C, Miki C, Gabazza EC, Nobori T, et al. Expression of tissue factor and vascular endothelial growth factor is associated with angiogenesis in colorectal cancer. Am J Hematol. 2002;69(4):247-4.

Cited by

  1. Wheel Balanced Cancer Therapy for Longer Than 21 Days Can Have a Positive Effect on the Survival of Patients with Stage IV Cancer vol.18, pp.3, 2015,
  2. Correlation Between Natural Killer Cell Activity and Systemic Inflammatory Markers for Heterogeneous Cancer Patients Treated With Wheel Balance Cancer Therapy 2017,