Research: REINDL and colleagues,

Listed in Issue 134

Abstract

REINDL and colleagues, Department of Pediatric Oncology/Hematology, Charite-Universitatsmedizin Berlin, Augustenburger Platz 1, 13353, Berlin, Germany, have conducted a trial of acupuncture against nausea caused by chemotherapy in children with cancer.

Background

The aim of this multicentre crossover study was to evaluate the efficacy and acceptance of acupuncture as a supportive treatment for nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy in paediatric oncology.

Methodology

11 children receiving several courses of highly emetogenic chemotherapy for treatment of solid tumours were randomized to start chemotherapy either with antiemetic medication plus acupuncture, or antiemetic medication alone. During all study courses, patients continued to receive their programmed and additional antiemetic medication as needed. Acupuncture was given at day 1 of chemotherapy and at subsequent days on patient’s demand. The amount of baseline and additional antiemetic medication during chemotherapy was documented. Patients maintained a daily diary of vomiting episodes and completed an evaluated nausea score at the end of every course.

Results

22 courses with or without acupuncture were compared. Acupuncture enabled patients to experience higher levels of alertness during chemotherapy and reduced nausea and vomiting. Except for needle pain, no side effects were noted. Patient’s acceptance of acupuncture was high.

Conclusion

These data indicate that acupuncture might reduce antiemetic medication and episodes of vomiting in paediatric oncology.

References

Reindl TK.  et al. Acupuncture against chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in pediatric oncology. Interim results of a multicenter crossover study. Supportive Care in Cancer 14 (2): 172-176, Feb 2006.

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