Navigation Links
Breast cancer patients experience fewer side effects from anticancer drug when receiving acupuncture

A new analysis has found that both real and sham acupuncture treatments may help alleviate side effects of drugs commonly used to treat breast cancer. Published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the findings may help clinicians improve care for cancer patients. The results also raise the question of whether sham acupuncture is truly inert or may, like real acupuncture, have beneficial effects.

Breast cancer patients who take a type of drug called an aromatase inhibitor (which inhibits the enzyme that produces estrogen in postmenopausal women) often experience side effects, including joint/muscle pain and stiffness, and menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes.

To see if acupuncture could help alleviate patients' symptoms, Ting Bao MD, DAMBA, MS, of the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center in Baltimore, and her colleagues recruited 47 breast cancer survivors taking aromatase inhibitors and suffering from joint/muscle discomfort to participate in a clinical trial. About half of the patients received eight weekly acupuncture treatments, and the other half received a kind of fake (or "sham") acupuncture that involved non-penetrating retractable needles placed in sham acupoints (non-acupuncture points).

Both groups experienced lessening of their symptoms, especially hot flashes, but there was little difference in benefits between the real acupuncture and the sham acupuncture.

"It could be that there is no difference, or it could be that in this small trial we just didn't have enough patients to detect a significant difference," said Dr. Bao. Notably, no patients experienced any significant side effects from either type of acupuncture treatment. "This is important because other treatments for symptoms often do have side effects, so showing that this treatment works without side effects could be a big improvement in the treatment of cancer survivors," explained Dr. Bao.

Although the researchers did not plan to look at racial differences, after the trial was completed they found that women who were African American experienced a greater reduction in the severity and frequency of hot flashes if they had real acupuncture rather than sham acupuncture when compared to non-African American women.

"This kind of result is not definitive, but it does suggest that we should probably look further into the possibility that acupuncture may work better in some ethnicity groups than others," said Dr. Bao.


Contact: Amy Molnar

Related biology news :

1. Protein jailbreak helps breast cancer cells live
2. Breast cancer risk gene discovery fast tracked by new technology
3. A new breast cancer susceptibility gene
4. Mechanism found connecting metastatic breast cancer and arthritis
5. Detecting breast cancers fingerprint in a droplet of blood
6. Researchers identified a protein useful in predicting the risk of pulmonary metastases in breast cancer patients
7. High levels of TRAIL protein in breast milk might contribute to anticancer activity
8. Fourth IMPAKT Breast Cancer Conference
9. Breast cancer in young women: A distinct disease
10. Immune-response genes affecting breast tumor eradication
11. New data improve understanding of breast cancers multiple varieties
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/20/2015)... OXFORD, Connecticut , November 20, 2015 ... biometric authentication company focused on the growing mobile commerce ... its CEO, Gino Pereira , was recently interviewed ... The interview will air on this weekend on ... Bloomberg Latin America . --> NXTD ) ...
(Date:11/19/2015)... 19, 2015  Although some 350 companies are actively ... a few companies, according to Kalorama Information. These include Roche ... the market share of the 6.1 billion-dollar molecular testing ... Market for Molecular Diagnostic s .    ... still controlled by one company and only a handful ...
(Date:11/18/2015)... --> --> ... report titled  Gesture Recognition Market - Global Industry Analysis, ... to the report, the global gesture recognition market was valued at ... US$29.1 bn by 2021, at a CAGR of 20.3% ... dominated the global gesture recognition market in ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015  Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: NBIX ) ... CEO of Neurocrine Biosciences, will be presenting at the ... New York . .   ... 5 minutes prior to the presentation to download or ... will be available on the website approximately one hour ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015 Orexigen® Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: OREX ... fireside chat discussion at the Piper Jaffray 27th Annual ... The discussion is scheduled for Wednesday, December 2, at ... A replay will be available for 14 days after ... Julie NormartVP, Corporate Communications and Business Development , BrewLife(858) ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015  Asia-Pacific (APAC) holds the third-largest share ... The trend of outsourcing to low-cost locations is ... volume share for the region in the short ... in the CRO industry will improve. ... ), finds that the market earned revenues ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Nov. 24, 2015 Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: HALO ... New York on Wednesday, December 2 at ... , president and CEO, will provide a corporate overview. ... at 1:00 p.m. ET/10:00 a.m. PT . ... will provide a corporate overview. --> th Annual ...
Breaking Biology Technology: