A systematic review that assessed the evidence on the use of acupoint stimulation for managing therapy-related adverse events in patients with breast cancer. A total of 26 clinical trials, 18 in English and eight in Chinese, were included. They assessed the application of acupoint stimulation on six disparate conditions related to anticancer therapies, including vasomotor syndrome, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, lymphoedema, post-operation pain, aromatase inhibitors-related joint pain and leukopenia. Methods of acupoint stimulation included traditional acupuncture, acupressure, electroacupuncture, and the use of a magnetic device on acupuncture points. Overall, 23 trials (88%) reported positive outcomes on at least one of the conditions examined. However, only nine trials (35%) were of high quality. Three of these found that acupoint stimulation on P6 was beneficial to chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. For other adverse events, the quality of many of the trials identified was found to be poor and no conclusive remarks could be made. The reviewers concluded that acupoint stimulation, particularly acupressure on the P6 acupoint, appears to be beneficial in the management of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, especially in the acute phase.
Chao LF et al. The efficacy of acupoint stimulation for the management of therapy-related adverse events in patients with breast cancer: a systematic review.
Breast Cancer Res Treat 2009; 118: 255-67.