Sham acupuncture as good as real one to ease side effects of anticancer drugs
Washington: A new study has found that both real and sham acupuncture treatments may help alleviate side effects of drugs commonly used to treat breast cancer.
The research 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 and 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 Centre 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. "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."
The study was published in journal CANCER.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- How far is it right to link terrorism with religion?
- How far is it right to link terrorism with religion?- Part II
- How far is it right to link terrorism with religion?- Part III
- India is 35th member of Missile Technology Control Regime
- DNA : When will Indian govt take strong actions against terrorism?
- GST Bill: World knows which party is running away from debate in Parliament, says PM Modi
- Watch: Salman Khan's 'Sultan' title track packs quite a punch!
- Three candidates interviewed for SBI's MD post
- Awards are an inspiration to work harder: Amaal Mallik
- Former Real Madrid Galactico Michel Salgado signs for the Premier Futsal league