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A Pilot Study of Acupuncture for the Treatment of Chronic, Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy in Cancer Survivors

Richard Lee

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University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Thousands of cancer patients receive taxane- and platinum-based chemotherapy, and upwards of 50-60% of these patients develop chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN), a painful and potentially debilitating condition. Although researchers have investigated a variety of pharmacologic treatments for CIPN, a definitive, successful treatment for the condition has not been identified. Acupuncture has been found to help alleviate pain, nausea, hot flashes, and xerostomia in cancer patients and reduce neuropathy symptoms in patients with diabetes or HIV. We hypothesize that acupuncture will also be beneficial for patients who have developed chronic CIPN; however, acupuncture for CIPN has yet to be studied in a formalized clinical trial. As part of developing a large randomized clinical trial to test this hypothesis, further preliminary data is required to optimize the acupuncture treatment protocol. We propose a pilot study to evaluate the use of electrical stimulation and total dose of acupuncture for chronic, taxane- and platinum-induced peripheral neuropathy in cancer survivors.

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