Acupuncture for Cancer Treatment & Chemotherapy Support

Acupuncture for Cancer Treatment & Chemotherapy Support.

Acupuncture is increasingly used to treat a variety of symptoms and conditions associated with cancer and the side effects of cancer treatments.

This parallels a broader trend of the world's top-ranked cancer centres integrating acupuncture into their cancer care, and an increase in acupuncture research in the field of oncology in the past twenty years.

Our clinic strictly advises that Chinese medicine and acupuncture should never be used alone for the treatment of cancer itself, but may be used to support certain symptoms associated with cancer and side effects of cancer treatment.

What does the research say?

The following insights are obtained from systematic reviews and analysis of clinical trials investigating the efficacy of Chinese medicine and acupuncture for cancer treatment & chemotherapy support.

Consult with our practitioners for personalised care and advice.

Although well-conducted clinical research can help members of the public to make better-informed decisions about their healthcare, we cannot claim that any particular treatment may be effective for any individual person.

When you consult with our Chinese medicine practitioners, you'll receive personalised advice and treatment based on your symptoms and Chinese medicine diagnosis.

Scientific References

Browse our collection of scientific clinical research on acupuncture for cancer treatment & chemotherapy support.

It includes recent and reputable papers published by peer-reviewed journals within the last 10 years.

BMC Palliative Care

2022, Jan 04

Effect of chocolate on older patients with cancer in palliative care: a randomised controlled study
BMC Palliative Care

The consumption of chocolate with a higher cocoa content, such as 55% cocoa chocolate, may contribute to the improvement of nutritional status and functionality among older cancer patients in palliative care. Additionally, the consumption of white chocolate was associated with improved oxidative stress.

Vettori JC, da-Silva LG, Pfrimer K, Jordão AA, Louzada-Junior P, Moriguti JC, Ferriolli E, Lima NKC Full Article

Frontiers in Oncology

2021, Jul 06

Zusanli (ST36) Acupoint Injection With Dexamethasone for Chemotherapy-Induced Myelosuppression: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Frontiers in Oncology

This study found that ST36 acupoint injection with dexamethasone had a positive effect on chemotherapy-induced myelosuppression (CIM).

Chen J, Lin Z, Ding J Full Article

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine

2020, Jan 13

Integrated Chinese Herbal Medicine and Western Medicine on the Survival in Patients with Colorectal Cancer: A Retrospective Study of Medical Records
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Findings from this retrospective cohort study indicated that integrated CHM and Western medicine could improve survival in patients with colorectal cancer.

Yeh MH, Chiu HP, Wu MC, Koo M, Lin NW, Liao KK, Yeh CC, Li TM Full Article

Integrative Cancer Therapies

2020, Jan

Comparative Effectiveness of Cheonwangbosimdan (Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan) Versus Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia in Cancer Patients: A Randomized, Controlled, Open-Label, Parallel-Group, Pilot Trial
Integrative Cancer Therapies

There is no difference between treatment and control groups, but both groups showed tendency to alleviate cancer insomnia symptoms. However, treatment group score was highly lowered than control group score. The study can contribute to more attentive care for insomnia in cancer patients.

Moon SY, Jerng UM, Kwon OJ, Jung SY, Lee JY, Yoon SW, Shin WC, Byun JI, Lee JH Full Article

JAMA Oncology

2019, Dec

Clinical Evidence for Association of Acupuncture and Acupressure With Improved Cancer Pain A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
JAMA Oncology American Medical Association

This study found a moderate level of evidence that acupuncture and/or acupressure was significantly associated with lower pain intensity in patients with cancer compared with a sham control, which suggests a potential for a combination of acupuncture and acupressure to help reduce opioid doses in patients with cancer.

He Y, Guo X, May BH, et al. Full Article

The Oncologist

2019, Oct 14

Acupuncture for Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy in Breast Cancer Survivors: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Trial
The Oncologist

In a randomized pilot trial of 40 breast cancer survivors with CIPN, an 8‐week acupuncture intervention (vs. usual care) led to a statistically and clinically significant improvement in subjective sensory symptoms including neuropathic pain and paresthesia. Given the lack of effective therapies and established safety profile of acupuncture, clinicians may consider acupuncture as a treatment option for mild to moderate CIPN in practice.

Lu W, Giobbie-Hurder A, Freedman RA, Shin IH, Lin NU, Partridge AH, Rosenthal DS, Ligibel JA Full Article

Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research

2019, Oct 13

Acupuncture therapy for breast cancer‐related lymphedema: A systematic review and meta‐analysis
Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research The Asia and Oceania Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, The Japan Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Recent studies suggest that acupuncture therapy can alleviate the upper limb swelling and improve the subjective pain and discomfort in patients with breast cancer-related lymphedema, regardless of the control intervention used.

Hou W, Pei L, Song Y, Wu J, Geng H, Chen L, Wang Y, Hu Y, Zhou J, Sun J Full Article

Acupuncture in Medicine

2019, Mar 8

Effects of acupuncture on breast cancer-related lymphoedema: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials
Acupuncture in Medicine British Medical Acupuncture Society

The present meta-analysis and systematic review suggests that acupuncture is effective at reducing breast cancer-related lymphoedema in patients after breast cancer treatment.

Zhang X, Wang X, Zhang B, Yang S, Liu D. Full Article


2016, May 20

Acupuncture and Related Therapies for Symptom Management in Palliative Cancer Care: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Acupuncture and related therapies are effective in reducing pain, fatigue, and in improving quality of life when compared with conventional intervention alone among cancer patients. Limitations on current evidence body imply that they should be used as a complement, rather than an alternative, to conventional care.

Lau CH, Wu X, Chung VC, Liu X, Hui EP, Cramer H, Lauche R, Wong SY, Lau AY, Sit RS, Ziea ET, Ng BF, Wu JC. Full Article

Journal of Cancer Research and Therapeutics

2016, Jul 25

Acupuncture for hot flashes in women with breast cancer: A systematic review
Journal of Cancer Research and Therapeutics Association of Radiation Oncologists of India

Acupuncture seems to be an effective therapy for HFs in women with BC; however, there was insufficient evidence to support the efficacy of acupuncture. However, the results should be interpreted cautiously, because of the poor quality and small number of included studies.

Chen YP, Liu T, Peng YY, Wang YP, Chen H, Fan YF, Zhang L Full Article

Oncology Nursing Forum

2014, Jan 1

Effects of acupuncture and acupressure on cancer-related fatigue: a systematic review
Oncology Nursing Forum Oncology Nursing Society

Although results are inconclusive, acupuncture and acupressure tend to be effective in relieving cancer-related fatigue, with the former producing a greater improvement.

Ling WM, Lui LY, So WK, Chan K. Full Article

Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine

2013, Dec 13

Effectiveness of acupuncture for palliative care in cancer patients: A systematic review
Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine

The result of our systematic review suggested that the effectiveness of acupuncture in palliative care for cancer patients is promising, especially in reducing chemotherapy or radiotherapy-induced side effects and cancer pain. Acupuncture may be an appropriate adjunctive treatment for palliative care.

Lian, WL., Pan, Mq., Zhou, Dh. & Zhang, ZJ. Full Article

Yin Tang
“It is by virtue of the twelve channels that human life exists, that disease arises, that human beings can be treated and illness cured. The twelve channels are where beginners start and masters end.” The Classic of Acupuncture
Circa 1st Century BCE