The eligibility criteria for this study were based on the PICOS principles given in the Cochrane Handbook, including patient, intervention, comparison, outcome, and study design.

Studies were considered eligible for inclusion if the following criteria were met. Study type: Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of CHIs combined with CCRT for the treatment of NPC. The article describes that “random” can be included, and the language was unrestricted. Patient: Patients with a definite pathological diagnosis of NPC with no limitations on stage, sex, race, or nationality. Intervention and comparison: Interventions involving any one Chinese herbal injection combined with CCRT for the treatment of NPC. The control group included CCRT, regardless of induction, adjuvant chemotherapy, or another Chinese herbal injection. There were no limitations on the dosages or treatment courses. Outcome: The primary effectiveness outcome was the clinical effective rate. The secondary outcome was performance status, which was assessed by the Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS), and the ARs outcomes were grade ≥3 radiation-induced oral mucositis, nausea and vomiting, leukopenia, and thrombopenia. Clinical effective rate = (number of complete response patients + number of partial response patients)/total number of patients × 100%. After treatment, an increase in the KPS score by more than 10 points was considered effective. With regard to ARs, the incidence of ARs = number of patients with ARs/total number of patients × 100%.

The exclusion criteria were as follows: (1) patients had any other primary tumor; (2) the interventions included other Chinese medicine treatments, such as other Chinese patent medicine, Chinese herbal decoction, acupuncture, and massage; (3) the administration of CHIs was non-intravenous; (4) duplicate literature; (5) did not report relevant outcomes; and (5) the full text was unavailable.

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