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Author (up) Crew, K. D.; Capodice, J. L.; Greenlee, H.; Apollo, A.; Jacobson, J. S.; Raptis, G.; Blozie, K.; Sierra, A.; Hershman, D. L.
Title Pilot study of acupuncture for the treatment of joint symptoms related to adjuvant aromatase inhibitor therapy in postmenopausal breast cancer patients Type of Study RCT
Year 2007 Publication Abbreviated Journal J Cancer S
Volume 1 Issue 4 Pages 283-291
Keywords Acu Versus No Treatment; Acupuncture; AcuTrials; Aromatase Inhibitor Therapy; Auricular Acupuncture; Breast Cancer; Cancer; Cross-Over Design; No Treatment Control; Pain; Pilot Study; Postmenopause; RCT; Semi-Individualized Acupuncture Protocol; TCM Acupuncture Style; Traditional Diagnosis Based Point Selection; Neoplasms; Arthritis
Abstract INTRODUCTION: Aromatase inhibitors (AIs) have become the standard of care for the adjuvant treatment of postmenopausal, hormone-sensitive breast cancer. However, patients receiving AIs may experience joint symptoms, which may lead to early discontinuation of this effective therapy. We hypothesize that acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment for AI-induced arthralgias. METHODS: Postmenopausal women with early-stage breast cancer who had self-reported musculoskeletal pain related to adjuvant AI therapy were randomized in a crossover study to receive acupuncture twice weekly for 6 weeks followed by observation or vice-versa. The intervention included full body and auricular acupuncture, and a joint-specific point prescription. Outcome measures included the Brief Pain Inventory-Short Form (BPI-SF), Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis (WOMAC) index, the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-General (FACT-G) quality of life measure, and serum levels of inflammatory markers, IL-1 beta and TNF-alpha. RESULTS: Twenty-one women were enrolled and two discontinued early. From baseline to the end of treatment, patients reported improvement in the mean BPI-SF worst pain scores (5.3 to 3.3, p = 0.01), pain severity (3.7 to 2.5, p = 0.02), and pain-related functional interference (3.1 to 1.7, p = 0.02), as well as the WOMAC function subscale and FACT-G physical well-being (p = 0.02 and 0.04, respectively). No adverse events were reported. DISCUSSION/CONCLUSIONS: In this pilot study, acupuncture reduced AI-related joint symptoms and improved functional ability and was well-tolerated. IMPLICATIONS FOR CANCER SURVIVORS: Musculoskeletal side effects are common among breast cancer survivors on adjuvant AI therapy, therefore, effective treatments are needed for symptom relief and to improve adherence to these life-saving medications
Address Department of Medicine, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA
Language Number of Treatments 12
Treatment Follow-up 6 Weeks Frequency >1/WK Number of Participants 21
Time in Treatment 6 Weeks Condition Arthritis
Disease Category Neoplasms OCSI Score
Notes Approved no
Call Number Serial 211
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