Deng, G., Vickers, A., Yeung, S., D’Andrea, G.M., Xiao, H., Heerdt, A.S., … Cassileth, B. (2007). Randomized, controlled trial of acupuncture for the treatment of hot flashes in breast cancer patients. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 25, 5584–5590.doi:10.1200/JCO.2007.12.0774
Compare the immediate and long-term effects of true acupuncture versus sham acupuncture on hot flash frequency in women with breast cancer
The study included 72 women with breast cancer experiencing three or more hot flashes per day.
Patients were randomly assigned to receive either true or sham acupuncture.
The primary outcome measurement was hot flash frequency. Participants completed a hot flash diary for one day at days 7, 14, 21, 28, and 35.
The mean number of hot flashes per day was reduced from 8.7 to 6.2 in the true acupuncture group. The mean number of daily hot flashed was reduced from10.0 to 7.6 in the sham group. The true acupuncture was associated with 0.8 fewer hot flashes per day when compared to the sham at six weeks. This difference was not statistically significant. During the cross-over phase, participants in the sham group who received true acupuncture reported a further reduction in the frequency of hot flashes. The overall reduction in hot flash frequency persisted for up to 6 months after the completion of treatment.
The study was limited by a reliance on self-report instruments and recall. No physiologic measurements were used. The study may not have been of a sufficiently long duration and employed a modest sample size.