New Study Shows High Use of Complementary Therapies by Cancer Inpatients

New Study Shows High Use of Complementary Therapies by Cancer Inpatients

New Rochelle, NY, December 2, 2015—Patients hospitalized for cancer treatment commonly use complementary and integrative health (CIH) approaches such as nutritional supplements, special diets, and massage according to a new study. More than 95% of patients expressed interest in at least one of these types of therapies if offered during their hospital stay, as reported in the article published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available to download for free on The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine website until January 2, 2016.

In the article “Improving Patient-Centered Care: A Cross-Sectional Survey of Prior Use and Interest in Complementary and Integrative Health Approaches Among Hospitalized Oncology Patients,” Rhianon Liu and Maria Chao, DrPH, University of California, San Francisco, Osher Center for Integrative Medicine evaluated the use of 12 different CIH approaches by patients in a surgical oncology ward. The most commonly used were vitamins/nutritional supplements (67%), a special diet (42%), and manual therapies such as massage or acupressure (39%).

The study also assessed patient interest in seven different CIH approaches if they were offered, and more than 40% of patients expressed interest in each treatment, including nutritional counseling (77%) and massage (76%). About half of participants were interested in acupuncture, biofeedback, and mindfulness meditation.

Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health under Award Numbers T32AT003997, K01AT006545, and K24AT007827, and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, under Award Number KL2TR00143.The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

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Acupuncture Relieves Hyperthyroid Leukopenia Condition

01 AUGUST 2015

Acupuncture improves leukocyte counts in patients suffering from hyperthyroidism combined with leukopenia. Hyperthyroidism is a disorder wherein the thyroid gland, located in the anterior aspect of the neck, produces excessive quantities of thyroid hormone. Application of CV6 and CV4. Lower Abdomen AcupunctureThis may lead to a variety of symptoms including anxiety, tremors, fatigue, weight loss, rapid heart beat, sweating, and insomnia. Hyperthyroidism may cause leukopenia, which is a pathological decrease in the white blood cell (WBC) count. Several types of medications may also cause leukopenia. Research published in the Clinical Journal of Chinese Medicinedemonstrates that acupuncture successfully increases leukocytes for patients with hyperthyroidism combined with leukopenia.

The experiments compared two groups. The integrative medicine group received both acupuncture and a pharmaceutical medication. The biomedical group received the identical medication but did not receive acupuncture. A total of 42 patients were randomly and evenly divided into the two groups. The combined numbers included 24 male and 18 female patients with an average age of 34 years.

Inclusion criteria specified three primary requirements. All patients must have hyperthyroidism combined with leukopenia, no signs or symptoms of infection, and must be between 18 and 70 years of age. Patients were excluded from this study using the following criteria:

  • Use of antimalarial drugs, chemotherapy, antibacterials, anti-inflammatories, etc….
  • Pregnant or lactating
  • Severe mental disturbance diagnoses
  • Allergic to the drug Leucogen
  • Patients taking part in other clinical experiments

All patients in both groups took 40 mg Leucogen tablets at a rate of 3 times per day. Patients in the integrative medicine group received acupuncture in addition to the medication regimen. Acupuncture was applied once per day for 4 weeks with a needle retention time of 30 minutes per session. The primary acupuncture points used in the study included:

  • Ge Shu (BL17)
  • Pi Shu (BL20)
  • San Yin Jiao (SP6)
  • Guan Yuan (CV4)
  • Qi Hai (CV6)
  • Zu San Li (ST36)
  • Xue Hai (SP10)

The total efficacy rate was based on a combination of full efficacy and notable efficacy. Full efficacy involved the complete restoration of leukocyte counts to normal with concomitant improvement of clinical symptoms at a 4 week check-up. Notable efficacy documented specific and significant increases in leukocytes concomitant with improvements in clinical symptoms.

The integrative medicine group receiving both acupuncture and Leucogen achieved a total efficacy rate of 90.48%. The biomedical group receiving only Leucogen achieved a total efficacy rate of 76.19%. A total of 21 patients in the integrative medicine group had a full recovery and 14 patients in the biomedical group had a full recovery. Back shu points with copper wound needles.

The researchers note that Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory categorizes hyperthyroidism with leukopenia as blood, qi, and jing related disorders. Internal organs in the Zang-Fu system commonly associated with this disorder are the heart, liver, spleen, and kidney. A general principle in TCM is to benefit the qi and blood and to balance yin and yang.

The researchers note that the acupuncture point selection was based on the TCM principles concerning this condition. Acupoints ST36, CV6, and SP6 were selected for their nourishing properties. ST36 and CV6 are noted for benefiting overall qi and SP6 is noted in TCM for its ability to nourish the spleen and kidney. SP10 was chosen for its ability to treat blood related disorders. The researchers elucidated the theoretical basis for all points in the acupuncture point prescription protocol.

The tone of the research is geared towards maximizing positive patient outcomes rather than promoting a particular methodology. The integrative medicine approach outperformed the drug only approach. As a result, the researchers note that combining acupuncture with Leucogen provides significantly better clinical results than receiving Leucogen as a standalone procedure.
Li Jie, Clinical research on treating hyperthyroidism plus leukopenia by acupuncture, Clinical Journal of Chinese Medicine, 2015 (13).


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Acupuncture May Treat Radiation-Induced Anorexia in Thyroid Cancer

Acupuncture may be an effective treatment for patients with thyroid cancer who experience radioactive-iodine-induced (RAI)-induced anorexia, according to a South Korean study published inIntegrative Cancer Therapies.Researchers led by Ju-Hyun Jeon, KMD, PhD, of Daejeon Korean Medicine Hospital examined 14 patients with thyroid cancer who were randomized to either “true” or sham acupuncture, with patients in both groups given six treatment sessions in two weeks.

Measured outcomes included change in Functional Assessment of Anorexia and Cachexia Treatment (FAACT), Anorexia/Cachexia Subscale (ACS), Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-General (FACT-G), Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), weight, body mass index (BMI), and cortisol levels.

The researchers found that true acupuncture demonstrated a higher increase but with no statistical significance, although there were significant differences between the two groups in an intent-to-treat (ITT) and per protocol (PP) analyses of Table of Index (TOI), FACT-G, and FAACT scores.

They also found no significant differences in VAS, weight, BMI, and cortisol levels between the groups.acupuncture needle inserting

“Although the current study is based on a small sample of participants, our findings support the safety and potential use of acupuncture for RAI-induced anorexia and quality of life in thyroid cancer patients,” the authors concluded.


  1. Keon, Ju-Hyun, KMD, PhD, et al. “Effect of Acupuncture for Radioactive-Iodine-Induced Anorexia in Thyroid Cancer Patients A Randomized, Double-Blinded, Sham-Controlled Pilot Study.”Integrative Cancer Therapies. doi: 10.1177/1534735415570634. [epub ahead of print]. February 17, 2015.


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