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Acupuncture improves immunity in chemo patients

Acupuncture and moxibustion may stimulate anti-cancer immunity, protect bone marrow cells and minimise drug side-effects in colon cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, according to a pilot study carried out in Portugal. Eighteen cancer patients were randomised to either acupuncture treatment or a wait list control group. Patients in the treatment group received six sessions of acupuncture twice a week, beginning one week prior to their first cycle of chemotherapy and ending at the beginning of the following cycle of chemotherapy. The experimental group received acupuncture at Taichong LIV-3, Zusanli ST-36, Sanyinjiao SP-3, and Xuanzhong GB-39, Hegu L.I.-4, Jianshi PC5, Waiguan SJ-5 and Lieque LU-7. Smokeless moxibustion was applied at Yanglao SI-6, Waiguan SJ-5, Futu ST-32 and Qihai REN-6. The results showed positive trends in the levels of total white blood cells (WBC), neutrophils (ANC), natural killer (NK) cells and B cells in the acupuncture group compared to the control. The increase in WBC and ANC in the acupuncture group resulted in a significant reduction in rates of leukopenia and neutropenia. The acupuncture group also showed a twofold increase in NK cells and a significant reduction in anxiety and depression compared to the control group. (Effects of acupuncture on leucopenia, neutropenia, NK, and B cells in cancer patients: a randomized pilot study. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014;2014:217397).


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