Jun J. Mao, MD, MSCE, on Next Steps of Acupuncture for Pain Management in Cancer Survivors

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Using acupuncture to help manage pain associated with cancer treatment may offer additional tools to help manage function and quality of life for survivors, according to Jun J. Mao, MD, MSCE.

Using acupuncture to help manage pain associated with cancer treatment may offer additional tools to help manage function and quality of life for survivors, according to Jun J. Mao, MD, MSCE.

During the ASCO 2020 Virtual Program, Mao – who is Head of Integrative Medicine at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center – presented a study designed to assess the comparative effectiveness of electro-acupuncture and auricular acupuncture against usual care in pain management in cancer survivors.

“So what we found is that electroacupuncture and your acupuncture are more effective at reducing the intensity of pain in cancer survivors. So the average reduction in pain is about a 2 point reduction, which is a clinically significant reduction, ”he explained.

In an interview with Cancer Network, Mao discussed the clinical implications of the study results and the research that will be carried out next.

Transcription:

There will be more and more cancer survivors due to modern advances in cancer therapy. Since this is the largest acupuncture trial conducted in an oncology setting with 360 patients, we really hope that this result can help the oncology community to start implementing this type of acupuncture in a clinical setting so that our cancer survivors have more tools at their disposal in addition to medications to manage their pain and improve function.

We are also trying to explore what type of patients benefit from which type of acupuncture or the other so that we can be more specific in providing the right type of acupuncture treatment for the right patient. I think this will be our next step.

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