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Acupuncture for Joint Symptoms in Women with Early Stage Breast Cancer

Researcher
Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG). SWOG is one of the five cooperative groups that together comprise the National Cancer Institute’s National Clinical Trials Network.
Study abstract

The primary objective of this study is to determine whether true acupuncture administered twice weekly for 6 weeks (8-12 sessions) compared to sham acupuncture and waitlist control causes a significant reduction in joint pain/stiffness related to aromatase inhibitors (AIs) in women with early stage breast cancer as measured by the Brief Pain Inventory-Short Form (BPI-SF) worst pain score at 6 weeks.

Secondary objectives are to investigate the effects of true acupuncture administered twice weekly for 6 weeks (8-12 sessions) followed by 6 weekly treatments (4-6 sessions) of maintenance (12-18 sessions total over 12 weeks) compared to sham acupuncture and waitlist control in this study population. The evaluations at 12 and 24 weeks are to determine the benefit of additional 6 weekly acupuncture treatments for maintenance and to determine the durability of response after stopping acupuncture, respectively. The evaluation at 52 weeks is to determine the long-term effects of acupuncture and adherence to AIs.

Study review

This study investigated whether a 12-week acupuncture program could help reduce joint pain or stiffness caused by anti-estrogen breast cancer therapies.The researchers wanted to enroll 228 women. The Call to Action for this study was sent to Army of Women (AOW) members on September 18, 2013. The researchers were able to close enrollment on February 21, 2017, after the AOW provided them with 103 women who were interested in enrolling in the study.