What is the evidence for the use of acupuncture as an intervention for symptom management in cancer supportive and palliative care: an integrative overview of reviews

  title={What is the evidence for the use of acupuncture as an intervention for symptom management in cancer supportive and palliative care: an integrative overview of reviews},
  author={Penny Towler and Alex Molassiotis and Sarah G. Brearley},
  journal={Supportive Care in Cancer},
PurposeThis study aims to systematically appraise the evidence for the use of acupuncture for symptom management in cancer and supportive care and to identify recommendations for clinical practice and future research.MethodsA systematic search was carried out to identify reviews of the use of acupuncture in cancer supportive and palliative care, using MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, Web of Science, Cochrane Library, British Nursing Index, Index to Theses, Dissertations and Theses (via Proquest) and… 
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Since acupuncture is a safe, nonpharmacological treatment but with small, clinically significant effects, these recommended uses appear as pragmatic efforts to bridge the gap of treatment options available to this patient group.
Effectiveness of acupuncture for cancer pain: protocol for an umbrella review and meta-analyses of controlled trials
This review will consist of a synthesis of findings from existing systematic reviews, updated meta-analyses of randomised clinical trials and analyses of results of other types of clinical studies, and use the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation approach to evaluate the quality of the overall evidence.
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Acupuncture may be an effective and safe treatment associated with pain reduction in the palliative care of patients with cancer and further high-quality, adequately powered studies are needed in the future.
Acupuncture for Symptom Management in Cancer Care: an Update
How concerns such as blinding, separating non-specific placebo effects from specific needling effects, determining biologic mechanisms and dosing parameters, evaluating determinants of response such as expectation, controlling for sources of bias, and the lack of standardization in treatment and study methods may affect the interpretation of study results are discussed.
Assessment of the quality of reporting in studies of acupuncture for patients with cancer using the STRICTA guidelines
Despite the widespread use of the STRICTA guidelines in acupuncture research, adherence remains poor for a few specific items and further research is required to explore the reasons why authors fail to report those items, and to develop strategies to improve the adherence to the guidelines.
Acupuncture and Related Therapies for Symptom Management in Palliative Cancer Care
Effectiveness of acupuncture and related therapies for managing anorexia, reducing constipation, paresthesia and dysesthesia, insomnia, and limb edema in cancer patients is uncertain, warranting future RCTs in these areas.
Acupuncture for treating aromatase inhibitor-related arthralgia in breast cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
Acupuncture has been reported as a safe and promising treatment for AIMSS, but the present analysis indicated that the effects were not statistically significant.
The Adjunctive Effect of Acupuncture for Advanced Cancer Patients in a Collaborative Model of Palliative Care: Study Protocol for a 3-Arm Randomized Trial
The finding of this trial will provide high-quality evidence on the adjunctive effect of acupuncture to standard care on advanced cancer patients undergoing palliative care.


A Systematic Review of Complementary and Alternative Medicine Interventions for the Management of Cancer-Related Fatigue
There is currently insufficient evidence to conclude with certainty the effectiveness or otherwise of CAM in reducing cancer-related fatigue; the design and methods employed in future trials of CAM should be more rigorous and increasing the strength of evidence should be a priority.
Acupuncture as a treatment modality for the management of cancer pain: the state of the science.
Findings suggest a lack of level I evidence regarding the use of acupuncture as a cancer pain treatment modality, and the majority of evidence is level III or higher; therefore, causality cannot be inferred.
Guidelines for Providing Acupuncture Treatment for Cancer Patients – a Peer-Reviewed Sample Policy Document
  • J. Filshie, J. Hester
  • Medicine
    Acupuncture in medicine : journal of the British Medical Acupuncture Society
  • 2006
These guidelines were developed for use in cancer patients, mainly for pain but also for some non-pain indications such as hot flushes, and need reassessment and ongoing validation as further data and evidence accumulate.
Acupuncture and cancer
The efficacy of acupoint stimulation for the management of therapy-related adverse events in patients with breast cancer: a systematic review
APS, in particular acupressure on the P6 acupoint, appears beneficial in the management of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, especially in the acute phase, and more well-designed trials using rigorous methodology are required to evaluate the effectiveness of ac upoint stimulation interventions on managing other distress symptoms.
Clinical Effectiveness and Safety of Acupuncture in the Treatment of Irradiation-Induced Xerostomia in Patients with Head and Neck Cancer: A Systematic Review
Limited evidence suggests that acupuncture is beneficial for irradiation-induced xerostomia, and although current evidence is insufficient to recommend this intervention, it is sufficient to justify further studies.
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Current cancer treatment providers are provided with information on acupuncture as well as the research conducted on cancer symptoms and side effects of cancer treatments, which shows beneficial effects that warrant further investigation with large trial sizes.
Acupuncture for cancer pain in adults.
There is insufficient evidence to judge whether acupuncture is effective in treating cancer pain in adults, and two studies comparing acupuncture with medication concluded that both methods were effective in controlling pain, although acupuncture was the most effective.
Acupuncture for treating hot flushes in men with prostate cancer: a systematic review
The evidence is not convincing to suggest acupuncture is an effective treatment for hot flush in patients with PC, and further research is required to investigate whether acupuncture has hot-flush-specific effects.
Acupuncture for Treating Common Side Effects Associated With Breast Cancer Treatment: A Systematic Review
Assessment of the evidence surrounding the role of acupuncture in treating side effects associated with breast cancer treatment finds acupuncture may be useful in decreasing the incidence and duration of some side effectsassociated with cancer treatment.