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JKM > Volume 42(1); 2021 > Article
Bang, Yun, Choi, Han, Kim, Park, Hong, Kwon, and Lee: Case Report on Complete Response and 5 year Survival of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer IIIB Patient Treated with Integrative Medicine


This is a five-year survival case report on non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treated with western medicine and traditional Korean medicine. 44-year old man diagnosed NSCLC IIIB in 2015 went through two months’ concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT) first, however the cancer did not response. After CCRT he began to take intensive integrative therapy including acupuncture, abdominal moxibustion, wild ginseng pharmacopuncture, herbal medicinal product of ginseng, hyperthermia, Thymosin α1, and mega vitamin C injection for 4 years and 9 months. After three months of intensive treatment, the state of cancer changed first to partial response and then complete response. He finally succeeded in five-year survival without any recurrence or complication in 2020, We suggest that integrative approach including traditional Korean medicine can be a meaningful treatment option for nonoperable NSCLC. Further studies with more cases should be performed to establish proper treatment protocol of integrative medicine for lung cancer.

Fig. 1
Change of Chest CT
1-1) first diagnosis(2015.09.01) - Lymph Node(LN) Enlargement(long→subcarinal, short→left interlobar)
1-2) stable disease(2015.10.24), 1-3) partial response(2015.12.14) – decreased size of LN
1-4) complete response(2016.03.15) – nomal size of LN. 1-5) no change(2016.07.19), 1-6) 5 year survival(2020.08.25)
Fig. 2
Change of PET/CT
2-1) first diagnosis(2015.09.09)- abnormal hyper metabolic lesion
2-2) partial response(2015.12.18)-marked decrease of hypermetabolism
Table 1
Western Medicine Treatment and Results between 2015-09-21 and 2015-12-07
Period Diagnosis and Follow up Result Treatment
2015.10.24. chest CT. (after CTx#2, RTx#20) No gross interval change in size of the multiple LNs enlargement
→ Stable Disease
CTx #1(09.21) #2(10.12) #3 (11.03)
Monotaxel (docetaxel) 100mg + Unistin (Cisplastin) 100mg
RTx 09.21.~11.09.
RTx#30 (60Gy)
Treatment for radiation esophagitis
10.01. (after RTx#7) mild pain in swallowing. discomfort in eating
10.15. (after RTx#16) mild dysphagia.
10.20. pain in swallowing.
10.20 Medication
(Talimephin, Ulcerimin, Menisolon, Ranix)
10.22.(after RTx#20) diagnosed as radiation esophagitis
Grade II–III.
Durogesic patch
10.26~12.01. pain in swallowing, dysphagia. Durogesic patch, Talimephin, Ulcerimin, Menisolon, Ranix
Table 2
Integrative Treatment and Results between 2015-12-08 and 2020-08-31
western medicine treatment Korean medicine treatment Follow up Result
  • - Hyperthermia (Celsius TCS®) on chest for 50min, three times a week.

  • - Thymosin α1 1.6mg injection (SQ or IM). twice a week.

  • - Mega vitamin C IV injection. twice a week. (normal saline 750ml + vitamin 60g + ginkobal 1 ample + B-comhexa 1 ample)

  • - Viscum Album 20mg/mL SQ injection, twice a week.

  • - Glutathione IV injection. twice a week.(Glutathione 600mg + normal saline 100ml)

  • - Acupuncture bid 15 min. (LI4, LI6, ST42, ST40, PC7, HT7, LR3, KI3, LU8)

  • - Moxibustion qd 60min (around CV8)

  • - Pharmacopuncture :Cultivated wild Ginseng 5ml qd (ST 25, CV12)

  • - Ginsenopil (wild ginseng powder 3g+honey 2g) 1T qd

  • - RGS 50ml (boiled decoction including wild ginseng powder 6.6g) qd

  • - Anti-cancer Plus 500mg tid

2015.12.14. chest CT. Decreased size of multiple LNs enlargement at both lower paratracheal, subcarinal, and left interlobar areas
2015.12.18. PET/CT. Decreased size and glucose metabolism of metastatic lymphadenopathies
→ Partial Response
2016.03.15. chest CT. More decrease in size of the residual LNs enlargement at both lower paratracheal and subcarinal areas
→ Complete Response
2016.07.19. chest CT. No change
2017.03.22. ~2020.03.17 chest CT every 6 months
No change
2020.08.25. chest CT. No change
→ 5 year survival.

CT: computed tomography, LN; lymph node, PET; positron emission tomography, SQ: subqutaneous, IM; intramuscular, IV; intravenous


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