Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Acupuncture may ease severe nerve pain associated with cancer treatment, study suggests

Date:
December 6, 2011
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Acupuncture may help ease the severe nerve pain associated with certain cancer drugs, suggests a small preliminary study.

Acupuncture may help ease the severe nerve pain associated with certain cancer drugs, suggests a small preliminary study published in Acupuncture in Medicine.

Cancer patients treated with taxanes, vinca alkaloids, or platinum compounds can develop a condition known as chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy, or CIPN for short, as a by-product of their treatment. These powerful drugs can damage peripheral nerves, particularly in the calves and feet, which can result in severe nerve pain and/or difficulty walking. As yet, there is no effective antidote.

Out of a total of 192 patients with peripheral neuropathy eligible for inclusion in the study, 11 had developed their symptoms during a course of chemotherapy for various types of cancer. Six of these patients agreed to undergo acupuncture; the other five served as a comparison group.

Twenty needles were inserted at prescribed points and depths and left in place for 20 minutes during each of the 10 sessions. These were delivered over a period of three months by a senior doctor, who had been fully trained in acupuncture and had used the technique for 20 years.

Nerve conduction studies, to assess the signalling speed and intensity of two nerves in the same calf were carried out before acupuncture and again six months after chemotherapy in the six volunteers. The same studies on patients in the comparison group were carried out after they had completed their chemotherapy and then again six months later.

At the second neurological assessment, patients in both groups were asked to state whether they thought their condition had changed or stayed the same.

Clinical examination showed that all the patients had a mixture of numbness on touch and nerve pain, while nerve conduction studies showed evidence of damage to the sural nerve.

In those given acupuncture, both the speed and the intensity of the nerve signalling improved in five out of the six patients. And these same patients said their condition had improved. Among those in the comparison group, speed remained the same in three, fell in one, and improved in one. Intensity remained the same in one, improved in two, and decreased in two.

The authors point to previous research, which suggests that acupuncture may boost blood flow in the legs, which may in turn aid the repair of nerve damage.

"The data suggest that acupuncture has a positive effect on CIPN, as measured by objective parameters [nerve conduction studies]," write the authors, adding that their results are similar to those found in patients with nerve damage caused by diabetes and those with peripheral neuropathy of unknown cause.

They conclude that the results of this pilot study are "encouraging," and merit further investigation in a larger trial.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sven Schroeder, Gesa Meyer-Hamme, Susanne Epplée. Acupuncture for chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN): a pilot study using neurography. Acupuncture in Medicine, 2011; DOI: 10.1136/acupmed-2011-010034

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Acupuncture may ease severe nerve pain associated with cancer treatment, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 December 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111205191728.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2011, December 6). Acupuncture may ease severe nerve pain associated with cancer treatment, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111205191728.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Acupuncture may ease severe nerve pain associated with cancer treatment, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111205191728.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) It's unclear whether the American Ebola patients' recoveries can be attributed to an experimental drug or early detection and good medical care. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins