The effect of acupuncture on chemotherapy-associated gastrointestinal symptoms in gastric cancer

J. Zhou, L. Fang, W.Y Wu, F. He, X.L. Zhang, X. Zhou, Z.J Xiong

Abstract


Background

Gastrointestinal (gi) symptoms are the most notable side effects of chemotherapeutic drugs; such symptoms are currently treated with drugs. In the present study, we investigated the effect of acupuncture on gi symptoms induced by chemotherapy in patients with advanced gastric cancer.

Methods

A cohort of 56 patients was randomly divided into an experimental group and a control group. All patients received combination chemotherapy with oxaliplatin–paclitaxel. Patients in the experimental group received 30 minutes of acupuncture therapy daily for 2 weeks. The frequency and duration of nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, the average days and costs of hospitalization, and quality-of-life scores were compared between the groups.

Results

Nausea was sustained for 32 ± 5 minutes and 11 ± 3 minutes daily in the control and experimental groups respectively (p < 0.05). On average, vomiting occurred 2 ± 1 times daily in the experimental group and 4 ± 1 times daily in the control group (p < 0.05). Abdominal pain persisted for 7 ± 2 minutes and 16 ± 5 minutes daily in the experimental and control groups respectively (p < 0.05). On average, diarrhea occurred 1 ± 1 times daily in the experimental group and 3 ± 1 times daily in the control group (p < 0.05). The average quality-of-life score was higher in the experimental group than in the control group (p < 0.05). No adverse events were observed for the patients receiving acupuncture.

Conclusions

Acupuncture, a safe technique, could significantly reduce gi symptoms induced by chemotherapy and enhance quality of life in patients with advanced gastric cancer.

 


Keywords


Acupuncture; gastric cancer; chemotherapy; gastrointestinal symptoms; quality of life

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3747/co.24.3296






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ISSN: 1198-0052 (Print) ISSN: 1718-7729 (Online)