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Traditional Chinese Medicine: From Experience Towards Evidence-Based Medicine
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has over 2000 years of history and played important role in the peoples' health and social development in Chinese history. In the past 50 years, Chinese scientists have made great effort to modernize TCM to make it a evidence-based medicine from the experence-based origin. The current review has summerized the recent advances in the modern research on the various respects of TCM including the resouces investigation, GAP cultivation, phytochemistry, quality assessment, safety issues, metabolic investigation, pharmacology, systems biology etc. It pointed out that GAP for Chinese herbs is the first and key step in the quality control cycle of traditional Chinese medicine. In addition, the research on TCM active principles and quality control methods were also summarized. Over 12,000 chemical constituents have been isolated from over 600 species of traditional Chinese medicines, among which over 2000 new compounds were discovered, which layed a solid foundation for clarifying the material basis of action and providing reference substances fro the quality control of TCM. Systems biology approach is now being actively practiced for the action mechanism studies of TCMs and their active principles, which provided a valuable approach for complex TCM systems. Currently, genomics, preotenomics and metabolomics have obtained good application in TCM studies. Finally, the progress of TCM new drug research and development has been outlined. Several famous new drugs from TCM or based on TCM have been sucessfully marketed. Examples are artemisinin, artemether, hupzine A, etc. Other types of new drugs include Fufang Danshen Dripping Pill, Diao Xinxuekang, and so on. Acknowledgements: Financial support for this research from Program for Changjiang Scholars and Innovative Team in University (985-2-063-112) and National Supporting Program for TCM from Ministry of Science and Technology of China (2006BAI08B03-03) is gratefully acknowledged. References:  Ye M, et al. (2005) J Am Soc Mass Spectrom 16: 234–243.  Ye M, Guo DA (2005) Rapid Commun Mass Sp. 19: 818–824.  Ye M, Guo DA (2005), Rapid Commun Mass Sp. 19: 1881–1892.  Liu AH, et al. (2006) J Pharmacy Pharm Sci. 9: 1–9.  Yang M, et al. (2006) Rapid Commun Mass Sp. 20: 1266–1280.  Ye M, et al. (2007)J Am Soc Mass Spectrom. 18: 82–91.  Liu AH, et al (2007)J Chromatogr A, 1161: 170–182.  Sun J, et al. (2007) Rapid Commun Mass Sp. 21: 2211–2226.