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Effect of electroacupuncture on chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy in patients with malignant tumor: a single-blinded, randomized controlled trial

Author: Zhang SQ, Wu TT, Zhang HS, Yang Y, Jiang HY, Cao SC, Xie F, Xia XT, Lü JQ, Zhong Y
Page: 179

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of electroacupuncture on chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN), quality of life and immune status of patients with malignant tumors. METHODS: From Jan, 2013 to May, 2014, 37 patients with malignant tumors were included in this prospective single-blinded study, and randomized to receive either electroacupuncture or acupuncture treatment on basis of chemotherapy. The chemotherapy was continued for 2 courses as previous before the treatments, with 21 days as a course of treatment. Patients received acupuncture and electroacupuncture once per day starting at the day before chemotherapy for consecutive 7 days followed by 14 days off, with 21 days as a course of treatment, and continued for two courses of treatment. Then CIPN, traditional Chinese clinical symptoms, quality of life and immune status were all evaluated for each patient prior treatment and after two courses of treatment. RESULTS: The gender, age, cancer species as well as incidence (83.3% vs 84.2%) and grades of CIPN before treatments were all similar in patients receiving acupuncture or electroacupuncture (all P > 0.05). After treatments, most patients with peripheral neuropathy were cured by two courses of electroacupuncture (84.2% vs 21.1%), whereas the other group of patients had similar incidences of peripheral neuropathy compared with prior-acupuncture (83.3% vs 72.2%). Besides, patients receiving electroacupuncture had lower incidence of peripheral neuropathy than those receiving acupuncture treatment (X2 = 9.745, P = 0.002). The grades of peripheral neuropathy were significantly different in the two groups post-treatment (X2 = 13.983, P = 0.007). The total effective rates for traditional Chinese clinical symptoms were 16.7% and 84.2% in acupuncture and electroacupuncture groups, respectively (Z = -4.239, P < 0.001). The electroacupuncture treatment provided a more satisfactory life for patients compared with acupuncture (Z = -4.76, P < 0.001). Both electroacupuncture and acupuncture had no effects on immune function. CONCLUSION: Electroacupuncture could alleviate CIPN, and improve traditional Chinese clinical symptoms and quality of life, but did not affect immune function.

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