Author(s): Cheon S, Zhang X, Lee IS, Cho SH, Chae Y,
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Abstract Background. Pharmacopuncture, injection to acupoints with pharmacological medication or herbal medicine, is a new acupuncture therapy widely available in Korea and China for cancer-related symptoms. However, the evidence is yet to be clear. Objective. To determine pharmacopuncture's effectiveness on cancer-related symptoms. Methods. Eleven databases were searched for randomized controlled trials of pharmacopuncture in cancer patients. The Cochrane risk of bias (ROB) assessment tool was used for quality assessment. Results. Twenty-two studies involving 2,459 patients were included. Five trials of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) underwent meta-analysis. Pharmacopuncture significantly relieved severity of CINV compared with control group (3 trials, risk ratio (RR) 1.28, 95\% confidence interval (CI) = 1.14-1.44). The frequency of CINV was also significantly reduced with pharmacopuncture (2 trials, RR 2.47, 95\% CI = 2.12-2.89). Seventeen trials studied various symptoms, and in most studies, pharmacopuncture significantly relieved pain, ileus, hiccup, fever, and gastrointestinal symptoms and improved quality of life in various cancer patients. ROB was generally high. Conclusion. It may be suggested with caution that pharmacopuncture may help various symptom relief in cancer patients, but it is hard to draw a firm conclusion due to clinical heterogeneity and high ROB of the included studies, hence warranting further investigation.
This article was published in Evid Based Complement Alternat Med
and referenced in Journal of Pain & Relief