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Acupuncture for Quality of Life in Gastric Cancer Patients Undergoing Adjuvant Chemotherapy


Patients with gastric cancer experience health-related quality of life (HRQOL) decline during adjuvant chemotherapy following gastrectomy.

This pilot study aimed to evaluate the preliminary effect and feasibility of electro-acupuncture (EA) for HRQOL and symptom burden in these patients.

In this open-label, multicenter, parallel controlled trial, gastric cancer patients who planned to receive adjuvant chemotherapy were randomly assigned to receive high-dose EA (seven times each chemotherapy cycle for three cycles), low-dose EA (three times each chemotherapy cycle), or usual care only. The acupoints prescription consisted of bilateral ST36, PC6, SP4, and DU20, EX-HN3, and selected Back-shu points. Patients completed the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Gastric (FACT-Ga) weekly, and the Edmonton Symptom Assessment System (ESAS). The primary outcome was the difference among the groups on the gastric cancer subscale (GaCS) of the FACT-Ga.

Of the 66 randomized patients, 58 were analyzed according to intention-to-treat principle, and 45 were in the per-protocol set (PPS). The average scores in PPS of GaCS were 52.12±9.71, 51.85±12.36, and 45.37±8.61 in high-dose EA, low-dose EA, and control groups, respectively. EA was significantly associated with improved average GaCS scores when compared with control group (51.98±10.91 vs. 45.37±8.61, P = 0.039). EA treatment also produced ESAS relief at the end of intervention (14.36 ± 12.28 vs. 23.91 ± 15.52, P = 0.027). Participants in EA groups had fewer grade ≥3 leukopenia (0% vs. 15.79%, P = 0.031) and neutropenia (2.56% vs. 26.31%, P = 0.012).

EA showed promising effects in improving HRQOL, controlling symptom burden, and reducing toxicity during adjuvant chemotherapy in gastric cancer patients. Future adequately powered trials are feasible and needed to confirm the specific effect of EA.

Yan-Juan Zhu, Xiao-Yu Wu, Wei Wang, Xue-Song Chang, Dan-Dan Zhan, De-Chang Diao, Jian Xiao, Yong Li, Dong Ma, Ming Hu, Jian-Chang Li, Jin Wan, Guan-Nan Wu, Chuan-Feng Ke, Kai-Yu Sun, Zhi-Liang Huang, Tai-Yuan Cao, Xiao-Hui Zhai, Ya-Dong Chen, Jian-Jun Peng, Jun J Mao, Hai-Bo Zhang

J Pain Symptom Manage. 2022 Feb;63(2):210-220. doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2021.09.009. Epub 2021 Sep 23.

Link: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0885392421005285?via%3Dihub

Elektro-Körper: Ma36, PC6, MP4, Du20, Yintang, Back-shu nach TCM-Diagnose 21 Sitzungen, 2-3x/Woche, während Chemotherapie

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