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The Pediatric Oncology Branch is dedicated to improving outcomes for children and young adults with cancer and genetic tumor predisposition syndromes. Acupuncture therapy has increasingly been utilized as a complementary treatment modality both for a wide variety of cancer related conditions and for side effects related to cancer treatments. Adult cancer patients have experienced an improvement in the quality of life as a result of the positive effects of acupuncture when it is included as an adjunctive therapy for management of a multitude of complaints. While the use of acupuncture has become more common in cancer care, there remains a relative paucity of evidence based research providing safety and efficacy data among oncology patients, thus limiting the extent to which patients and providers feel confident in pursuing or recommending the use of acupuncture in oncological care. This may be especially true in the pediatric population where acupuncture research is even more sparce. The application of acupuncture therapy among the pediatric oncology population remains largely unexplored. Despite the reassuring positive results attributable to acupuncture therapy in the adult population, it is important to consider the uniqueness and differences in the pediatric population prior to the anticipation of similar results in children. Therefore, we present our findings on the utilization trends, referral patterns, adverse events, and subjective experience of pediatric oncology patients who underwent acupuncture therapy at a tertiary care pediatric hospital in the Pacific Northwest United States.
Last date updated on July, 2014