Are Published Cancer Care Trial Protocols With Traditional Chinese Medicine Interventions Concordant With SPIRIT-TCM Extension 2018? A Scoping Review on Published Trial Protocols Between 2019 and 2022

Author: Hezheng Lai1, Peiying Yang2, Xin Shelley Wang2, David Lim3,4, Anderson Lam1, Yucong Shi5, Yishi Huang1,6, Xiaoshu Zhu1,7
1 Chinese Medicine Centre (an international collaboration between Western Sydney University and Beijing University of Chinese Medicine), Western Sydney University, Campbelltown, NSW, Australia.
2 University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Centre, Houston, Houston, TX, USA.
3 University of Technology Sydney, Ultimo, NSW, Australia.
4 Mparntwe Center for Evidence in Health: A JBI Center of Excellence, Alice Spring, NT, Australia.
5 Jinan University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China.
6 The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC, Australia.
7 School of Health Sciences, Western Sydney University, Campbelltown, NSW, Australia.
Conference/Journal: Integr Cancer Ther
Date published: 2024 Jan-Dec
Other: Volume ID: 23 , Pages: 15347354231223966 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1177/15347354231223966. , Word Count: 213

The SPIRIT-TCM Extension 2018 was created to guide the design and reporting of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) clinical trial protocols. This study aims to investigate the extent of concordance with this guideline in the relevant field of cancer care research.

A scoping review of TCM cancer trial protocols published in English and Chinese since January 2019 was conducted. Five major academic databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, CENTRAL, and China National Knowledge Infrastructure) were searched. Concordance with the SPIRIT-TCM Extension 2018 was assessed by descriptive analysis.

Fifty-three TCM cancer care trial protocols were identified, comprising 23 acupuncture, 26 Chinese herbal medicine (CHM), and 4 Tai Chi/Qigong (TCQ) interventions. The majority of the checklist items had a low rate of concordance, especially in the reporting of quality control and safety, dosage, TCM diagnostic patterns, possible interactions between Western Medicine and TCM interventions, and TCM-related outcome assessments.

Although the SPIRIT-TCM Extension 2018 guideline was established through extensive Delphi consultation, there are low rates of concordance between published TCM cancer care clinical trial protocols with the guideline. Further research is necessary to understand the low rate of concordance and how scientific rigors of reporting can be improved in TCM cancer care research.

Keywords: Chinese Herbal Medicine; Qigong; SPIRIT; Tai Chi; Traditional Chinese Medicine; acupuncture; clinical trial; extension; recommendation.

PMID: 38291957 DOI: 10.1177/15347354231223966