Auricular acupuncture is used as complementary treatment for cancer pain when analgesic drugs do not suffice.
In this study, investigators from France examined the efficacy of auricular acupuncture in decreasing pain intensity in cancer patients.
The team divided 90 patients into 3 groups.
|There was little change in the placebo patients.|
|Journal of Clinical Oncology|
The first group received 2 courses of auricular acupuncture at points where an electrodermal signal had been detected.
The 2 placebo groups received auricular acupuncture at points with no electrodermal signal (placebo points). One placebo group had auricular seeds fixed at placebo points.
Included patients had to attain a visual analog score (VAS) of 30 mm or more after analgesic treatment.
The team measured treatment efficacy as the decrease in pain intensity, 2 months after randomization.
The investigators found that pain intensity decreased by 36% after 2 months in the treatment group. There was little change in the placebo patients.
Dr David Alimi's team concluded, "The observed reduction in pain intensity…represents a clear benefit from auricular acupuncture for these cancer patients who are in pain, despite stable analgesic treatment".