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Human / Clinical Studies

    Table 5. Clinical Studies of Acupuncture: Radiation-Induced Xerostomiaa continued...

    Other Treatment-related Side Effects

    Many studies have reported on the effects of acupuncture on cancer or other cancer treatment–related symptoms, including weight loss, cough, hemoptysis, fever, anxiety, depression, xerostomia, proctitis, dysphonia, esophageal obstruction, hiccups, and postoperative lymphedema.[1,9,44,70,71,72,73,74,75,76] These studies were from China,[1,59,71,72,73] Japan,[74] England,[76] Italy,[44] Sweden,[69] and the United States.[9,19,54,70,75] The findings from these studies are summarized in Table 6 below.

    Table 6. Clinical Studies of Acupuncture: For Other Cancer-related Symptoms or Cancer Treatment–related Side Effectsa

    Reference Citation(s)Type of StudyCondition TreatedNo. of Patients: Enrolled; Treated; ControlbStrongest Benefit ReportedcConcurrent Therapy (Yes/No/ Unknown)dLevel of Evidence Scoree
    No. = number; RCT = randomized controlled trial.
    a Refer to text and theNCI Dictionary of Cancer Termsfor additional information and definition of terms.
    b Number of patients treated plus number of patient controls may not equal number of patients enrolled; number of patients enrolled equals number of patients initially considered by the researcher who conducted a study; number of patients treated equals number of enrolled patients who were given the treatment being studied AND for whom results were reported.
    c Strongest evidence reported that the treatment under study has anticancer activity or otherwise improves the well-being of cancer patients.
    d Concurrent therapy for symptoms treated (not cancer).
    e For information about levels of evidence analysis and an explanation of the level of evidence scores, refer to Levels of Evidence for Human Studies of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
    fP< .001, versus baseline.
    [1]RCTSymptoms of weight loss, cough, thoracodynia, hemoptysis, fever, and side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy76; 38 acupuncture; 38 no acupunctureWeight gain, symptom relief, fewer side effectsfNo1iiC
    [54]RCTCancer-related fatigue47; 31; 16Improved fatigue levelsNo1iiC
    [44]Nonconsecutive case series, surveyed retrospectivelyUnspecified symptoms (including pain, xerostomia, hot flashes, nausea/loss of appetite) from cancer or cancer treatment79; 79 traditional Chinese acupuncture, auricular acupuncture, percutaneous nerve stimulation, Korean hand acupuncture, or Japanese scalp acupuncture; none60% showed at least 30% improvementYes (standard medical therapies)3iiiC
    [71]Nonconsecutive case seriesRadiation proctitis in women treated for cervical cancer44; 44 acupuncture; none73% radiation proctitis cured: no blood or mucus for 15 daysNo3iiiC
    [74]Nonconsecutive case seriesPostoperative lower extremity lymphedema in women treated for gynecologic tumors24; 24 acupuncture and moxibustion; noneEdema prevented or markedly reducedUnknown3iiiC
    [76]Nonconsecutive case seriesSymptoms related to lymphedema (including pain, discomfort, anxiety and insomnia)35; 30 acupuncture and moxibustion; noneSymptoms improvedUnknown3iiiC
    [72]Case reportDysphonia after radiation therapy1; 1 acupuncture; noneVoice recoveredUnknownNot applicable
    [73]Case reportEsophageal obstruction in patients with esophageal cancer2; 2 acupuncture; noneObstruction relieved and normal bowel movements restoredYes (not specified)Not applicable
    [75]Retrospective case seriesHiccups16; 16 acupuncture; noneSymptom reliefUnknown3iiiC

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