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Acupuncture for chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy: a randomised controlled pilot study
  1. Eduardo Guilherme D’Alessandro1,
  2. Daniela Ribeiro Nebuloni Nagy1,
  3. Christina May Moran de Brito2,3,
  4. Elisangela Pinto Marinho Almeida2,
  5. Linamara Rizzo Battistella4,5 and
  6. Rebeca Boltes Cecatto2,6
  1. 1Instituto do Cancer, Hospital das Clinicas da Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brasil
  2. 2Rehabilitation Department, Instituto do Cancer, Hospital das Clinicas da Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
  3. 3Rehabilitation Service, Hospital Sírio-Libanês, Sao Paulo, Brasil
  4. 4Department of Legal Medicine, Medical Ethics, Social and Work Medicine, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de São Paulo (USP), Sao Paulo, Brazil
  5. 5Instituto de Medicina Física e de Reabilitação, Hospital das Clinicas IMREA-HCFMUSP da Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brasil
  6. 6School of Medicine, Universidade Nove de Julho, Sao Paulo, Brazil
  1. Correspondence to Dr Rebeca Boltes Cecatto, Instituto do Cancer do Estado de Sao Paulo Octavio Frias de Oliveira, Sao Paulo 05020000, Brazil; rebeca.boltes{at}gmail.com

Abstract

Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) can cause loss of independence and poor quality of life (QoL) due to severe disabilities, but in spite of its importance there is still a lack of data for the management of CIPN. Acupuncture has showed promising results and may be a cost-effective option for the treatment.

Objectives To evaluate the effect of acupuncture treatment on neurological symptoms of CIPN and QoL of oncological patients.

Methods We performed a clinical, single-centre, randomised and controlled pilot study that involved 33 adult patients with cancer and CIPN randomised into two groups (control and acupuncture treated with 10 sessions, two times per week). Both groups were subjected to a complete physical examination and clinical assessment with National Cancer Institute Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (NCI CTCAE) Scale V.2.0, FIM Scale, European Organisation for the Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire Core (EORTC QLQ-C30) Scale and Visual Analogue Scale for pain before and 5 weeks after treatment.

Results There were no adverse events, and we found statistical differences in groups in physical (p=0.03) and function (p=0.04) domains of EORTC QLQ-C30 when comparing control and acupuncture groups. About NCI CTCAE Scale and neuropathy sensory symptoms, we found better results in acupuncture group, comparing pretreatment and post-treatment analyses (p=0.01). In control group, we have no differences after 5 weeks (p=0.11).

Conclusion Although these results suggest an interesting effect of acupuncture on this patient population, the clinical significance has remained unclear. Given the tendency towards benefit and the lack of adverse effects, the authors recommend a follow-up acupuncture trial using higher follow-up time and better sample size.

Trial registration number NCT02309164.

  • neuropathy
  • chemotherapy
  • quality of life
  • acupuncture
  • rehabilitation
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Footnotes

  • Contributors All authors have contributed to all stages of this study, from conception, idea, protocol development, collection of data, analysis of results and writing of the article. All authors have substantial contributions to the study. ED’A and DRN have substantial contributions to conception and design of the work; to acquisition, analysis and the interpretation of data; and to draft the work and revising it critically for the version published. CMMdB and EPA have substantial contributions to conception and design of the work; to analysis and the interpretation of data; and to draft the work and revising it critically for the version published. LRB and RBC have substantial contributions to conception and design of the work; to the interpretation of data; and to draft the work and revising it critically for the version published.

  • Funding Supported by grant from CNPQ/Brazil Process Number 401459/2013-6 (Oct/2013).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Written informed consent was obtained from all patients or their legal surrogate.

  • Ethics approval This study was approved by the local ethical committee.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.

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