Integrative Cancer Care, Medical Acupuncture

Acupuncture as a Therapeutic Treatment for Cancer Pain

ACUPUNCTURE FOR CANCER PAIN: THE CLINICAL EVIDENCE

A Comparative Literature Review in 2017 found a potentially positive effect of acupuncture in treating cancer pain.3 The review included two systematic reviews, the older of which was unable to draw firm conclusions due to small sample sizes and clinical differences in the patients being treated. The more recent review included 36 trials and over 2200 randomised patients. They found a moderate effect size of acupuncture on cancer-related pain, and concluded that “acupuncture is effective in relieving cancer-related pain, particularly malignancy-related and surgery-induced pain.”4

Although this review did not report on risks arising from treatment with acupuncture, elsewhere studies have indicated that acupuncture is a feasible and safe treatment56 and may successfully be used to treat cancer patients for symptom management due to the low risks associated with its use.7

HOW ACUPUNCTURE TREATS CANCER PAIN: BIOLOGICAL MECHANISMS

Acupuncture’s mechanisms for treating cancer pain are thought to be similar to those for treating other painful conditions, whether the pain is categorised as acute or chronic.

These mechanisms have been researched extensively for over 60 years, and while there is still much left to learn about acupuncture mechanisms and the human body in general, the neural pathways from acupuncture point stimulation to the spinal cord and then to the deactivation of the pain centres in the brain have been mapped.89Acupuncture has been demonstrated to activate a number of the body’s own opioids as well as improve the brain’s sensitivity to opioids.10 A number of other biochemicals involved in pain reduction have been found to be released and regulated by acupuncture stimulation, including ATP, adenosine, GABA and substance P.11 Acupuncture has also been demonstrated to reduce activity in the parts of the brain associated with the perception of pain and increase activity in brain areas associated with improved self-regulation.12

 

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Acupuncture as a Therapeutic Treatment for Cancer Pain

Mairi Caughey, BSc and Mel Hopper Koppelman, DAc, MSc, MSc

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Integrative Cancer Care, Medical Acupuncture

Understanding the Benefits of Acupuncture Treatment for Cancer Pain Management

  • Two types of pain caused by cancer treatment in which several acupuncture studies have been conducted are: (1) aromatase inhibitor–associated arthralgia (AIAA) and aromatase inhibitor–associated musculoskeletal symptoms (AIMSS) and (2) chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN).
  • There is a moderate amount of evidence supporting the analgesic effect of acupuncture. In selected patients, acupuncture can be a useful addition to a comprehensive pain management plan.
  • Acupuncture is generally safe when performed by properly trained practitioners. There are specific safety precautions for cancer patients.
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Integrative Cancer Care, Medical Acupuncture

Systematic review and meta‐analysis of acupuncture to reduce cancer‐related pain

Systematic review and meta‐analysis of acupuncture to reduce cancer‐related pain

our findings support acupuncture as an effective treatment in alleviating pain among cancer patients and survivors, particularly malignancy-related and surgery-induced pain. To expand the application of acupuncture on cancer-related pain, investigators should clearly define the types of cancer pain (e.g. malignancy related pain) as inclusion criteria in the future studies.
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Integrative Cancer Care

Opioid switching in cancer pain: From the beginning to nowadays

No randomized controlled trials have investigated the efficacy of opioid switching. Recommendations are derived from retrospective or observational studies, so that evidence regarding efficacy of opioid switching is generally weak.

Source: Opioid switching in cancer pain: From the beginning to nowadays – Critical Reviews in Oncology / Hematology

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News!

Joint Conference: Acupuncture, Oncology and Fascia.

I am going to participate in this event in Boston.

http://hms.harvard.edu/news/three-way-junction

Joint Conference Flyer Final

“Experts in the fields of acupuncture, integrative oncology, cancer biology and mechanobiology will share the stage, presenting the latest findings and exploring three key areas of overlapping research:

  • Acupuncture and oncology: The role of acupuncture in the care of cancer patients, including pain management, fatigue and sleep
  • Oncology and fascia: The importance of the connective tissue matrix in tumor growth and metastasis
  • Fascia and acupuncture: The transduction of mechanical signals from acupuncture needles to connective tissue”

On Saturday, Nov. 14, 8:00 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Joseph B. Martin Conference Center.

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