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Friday, March 30, 2012

Acupuncture for the treatment of cancer pain: a systematic review of randomised clinical trials

NYCTCM Acupuncture Clinic visit
NYCTCM Acupuncture Clinic visit (Photo credit: NYCTCM)
Pain Management - Oncology News Article | Acupuncture for the treatment of cancer pain: a systematic review of randomised clinical trials |3998569

OncoPRN Commentary: Those working in any way in supportive oncology encounter a myriad of question with respect to complementary and alternative therapies (CAT). This article may better equip one to deal with the question of acupuncture and its use in cancer pain.

Excerpt:

Supportive Care in Cancer, 03/30/2012  Evidence Based Medicine

Choi TY et al. – The comparison between acupuncture plus drug therapy and drug therapy alone demonstrated a significant difference in favour of the combination therapy. The results of this systematic review provide no strong evidence for the effectiveness of acupuncture in the management of cancer pain. The total number of randomised clinical trials (RCTs) included in the analysis and their methodological quality were too low to draw firm conclusions.
Methods:

"Fourteen databases were searched from their inception through April 2011.

Randomised clinical trials (RCTs) were included if acupuncture was used as the sole treatment or as a part of a combination therapy for cancer pain.

Studies were included if they were controlled with a placebo or controlled against a drug-therapy or no-treatment group.

The Cochrane criteria were used to assess the risk of bias.


Results:

  • A total of 15 RCTs met the inclusion criteria.
  • All of the included RCTs were associated with a high risk of bias.
  • The majority of acupuncture treatments or combination therapies with analgesics exhibited favourable effects compared with conventional treatments in individual studies.
  • However, a meta-analysis suggested that acupuncture did not generate a better effect than drug therapy (n=886; risk ratio (RR), 1.12; 95% CI 0.98 to 1.28; P=0.09).
  • The comparison between acupuncture plus drug therapy and drug therapy alone demonstrated a significant difference in favour of the combination therapy (n=437; RR, 1.36; 95% CI 1.13 to 1.64; P=0.003).
  • The results of this systematic review provide no strong evidence for the effectiveness of acupuncture in the management of cancer pain."

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Pharmacy History

"The earliest known compilation of medicinal substances was ARIANA the Sushruta Samhita, an Indian Ayurvedic treatise attributed to Sushruta in the 6th century BC. However, the earliest text as preserved dates to the 3rd or 4th century AD.
Many Sumerian (late 6th millennium BC - early 2nd millennium BC) cuneiform clay tablets record prescriptions for medicine.[3]

Ancient Egyptian pharmacological knowledge was recorded in various papyri such as the Ebers Papyrus of 1550 BC, and the Edwin Smith Papyrus of the 16th century BC.

The earliest known Chinese manual on materia medica is the Shennong Bencao Jing (The Divine Farmer's Herb-Root Classic), dating back to the 1st century AD. It was compiled during the Han dynasty and was attributed to the mythical Shennong. Earlier literature included lists of prescriptions for specific ailments, exemplified by a manuscript "Recipes for 52 Ailments", found in the Mawangdui tomb, sealed in 168 BC. Further details on Chinese pharmacy can be found in the Pharmacy in China article."

From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pharmacy#History_of_pharmacy

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