A total of 60 patients treated with chemotherapy of capecitabine and suffering from the chemotherapy-induced HFS were divided into an acupuncture group and a Vitamin B6 group according to the random number table, 30 cases in each one. In the acupuncture group, after chemotherapy, acupuncture was given at Băihuì (百会GV 20), Hégŭ (合谷LI 4), Wàiguān (外关TE 5), Zúsānlĭ (足三里ST 36) and Ashi points. The needles were retained for 30 min in each treatment, once a day, totally for 2 weeks. In the Vitamin B6 group, after chemotherapy, Vitamin B6 was taken orally, 300 mg a day, totally for 2 weeks. Separately, on the day of enrollment and after 2 weeks of treatment, the scores of Karnofsky performance scale (KPS) and the quality of life (QLQ-C30) were evaluated in the acupuncture group and the Vitamin B6 group. After 2 weeks of treatment, the therapeutic effects were evaluated.
The effective rate of chemotherapy-induced HFS was 70.0% in the acupuncture group and was 36.7% in the Vitamin B6 group. The result in the acupuncture group was higher than the Vitamin B6 group, indicating the significant difference (P < 0.05). After treatment, the KPS scores (84.23 ± 10.49) in the acupuncture group were higher obviously than the Vitamin B6 group (77.84 ± 10.33), indicating the significant difference (P < 0.05). Regarding QLQ-C30 evaluation, after 2-week treatment, the scores in the items of physical function, role function, emotional function, cognitive function and social function were all reduced remarkably as compared with those before treatment in the two groups, indicating the significant differences (all P < 0.05). After treatment, the scores of physical function (7.13 ± 1.56 vs 16.72 ± 4.29), emotional function (4.89 ± 0.87 vs 11.76 ± 1.29) and cognitive function (6.32 ± 1.23 vs 18.17 ± 4.1) in the acupuncture group were all lower obviously than those in the Vitamin B6 group, indicating the significant differences (all P < 0.05); and the scores of role function and social function were not different significantly as compared with the VB6 group (all P > 0.05).
Acupuncture is effective for HFS induced by the chemotherapy with capecitabine and its effects are better than the oral administration of Vitamin B 6 in terms of physical function, emotional function and cognitive function.