Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 135, Issue 3, pp 791–798

Reducing vasomotor symptoms with acupuncture in breast cancer patients treated with adjuvant tamoxifen: a randomized controlled trial

  • Annelie Liljegren
  • Pia Gunnarsson
  • Britt-Marie Landgren
  • Ninna Robéus
  • Hemming Johansson
  • Samuel Rotstein
Clinical trial

DOI: 10.1007/s10549-010-1283-3

Cite this article as:
Liljegren, A., Gunnarsson, P., Landgren, BM. et al. Breast Cancer Res Treat (2012) 135: 791. doi:10.1007/s10549-010-1283-3

Abstract

To evaluate true acupuncture to control acupuncture (CTRL) (non-insertive stimulation at non-acupuncture points) in breast cancer patients treated with adjuvant tamoxifen suffering from hot flushes and sweatings. Eighty-four patients were randomized to receive either true acupuncture or CTRL twice a week for 5 weeks. Seventy-four patients were treated according to the protocol. In the true acupuncture group 42% (16/38) reported improvements in hot flushes after 6 weeks compared to 47% (17/36) in the CTRL group (95% CI, −28 to 18%). Both groups reported improvement regarding severity and frequencies in hot flushes and sweatings but no statistical difference was found between the groups. In a subanalysis regarding the severity of sweatings at night a statistically significant difference P = 0.03 was found in the true acupuncture group. Former experience of true acupuncture did not influence the perception of true acupuncture or CTRL. No significant differences in hormonal levels were found before and after treatment. In conclusion, convincing data that true acupuncture is more effective than CTRL in reducing vasomotor symptoms is still lacking. Our study shows that both true and CTRL reduce vasomotor symptoms in breast cancer patients treated with adjuvant tamoxifen.

Keywords

Acupuncture Sham Hot flush Breast cancer Adjuvant Tamoxifen 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Annelie Liljegren
    • 1
  • Pia Gunnarsson
    • 2
  • Britt-Marie Landgren
    • 3
  • Ninna Robéus
    • 4
  • Hemming Johansson
    • 5
  • Samuel Rotstein
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of OncologyRadiumhemmet, Karolinska University Hospital and Karolinska InstitutetStockholmSweden
  2. 2.Department of PhysiotherapyKarolinska University HospitalStockholmSweden
  3. 3.Department of GynecologyKarolinska University Hospital and Karolinska InstitutetStockholmSweden
  4. 4.Gynekologmottagningen Mörby Centrum DanderydStockholmSweden
  5. 5.Department of OncologyKarolinska University HospitalStockholmSweden
  6. 6.Department of OncologyKarolinska University Hospital and Karolinska InstitutetStockholmSweden

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