Needle away the painful neuropathy

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Needle away the painful neuropathy

According to a pilot study presented as a poster at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS) 2016, researchers found the  acupuncture  as an effective approacch for alleviating chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) in patients with breast cancer.

When it comes to cancer, the side effects with treatment can be as debilitating as the disease. That's why more and more healthcare professionals are recommending alternative therapies like acupuncture to deal with either the cancer pain or nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy. According to Dr Ligibe, around 97% of patients may develop peripheral neuropathy during or shortly after the cancer treatment, especially with taxane-based therapy and  in roughly 30%  of the symptoms persist.

Dr. Lu added, "Some studies from China suggest acupuncture might be helpful, but they are not focused on breast cancer and are mostly in diabetes and other types of neuropathy".  With the addition of electrostimulation, all acupuncture was given properly as per the standard protocol. Improvement in pain and functionality was seen in patients in the acupuncture group compared with controls (33% in pain and 35% in functionality). The results were based on patient-reported outcomes collected at baseline and 8 weeks on the following:

Patient Neurotoxicity Questionnaire (PNQ);

European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy (EORTC QLQ-CIPN20);

EORTC Quality of Life Questionnaire-Core 30 (EORTC QLQ-C30); and

Brief Pain Inventory-Short Form (BPI-SF)

Jun Mao, MD, a breast cancer acupuncture specialist from the Integrative Medicine Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York City, said, "CIPN is a huge problem and our group previously found close to 50% of women with breast cancer continue to experience CIPN years after treatment, which is associated with increased falls." Dr Mao continued: "This pilot study shows the promise of acupuncture as a treatment for CIPN, where very few treatment options exist. Larger studies with longer follow-up and appropriate controls are needed to confirm the potential benefit of acupuncture as a standard treatment for CIPN."



Link to the source:

Original title of article:

Needling the Pain of Peripheral Neuropathy


Jennifer Ligibel, Wiedong Lu

Exploratory, Acupuncture, Chemotherapy induced  peripheral neuropathy  (CIPN), Cancer pain, Pilot study, Patient Neurotoxicity Questionnaire (PNQ), EORTC Quality of Life Questionnaire-Core 30 (EORTC QLQ-C30), Brief Pain Inventory-Short Form (BPI-SF), Nausea, Vomiting
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