Hervik, J., & Mjåland, J. (2009). Acupuncture for the treatment of hot flashes in breast cancer patients, a randomized, controlled trial. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, 116, 311–316.doi:10.1007/s10549-008-0210-3
To examine the efficacy of acupuncture in women with breast cancer experiencing hot flashes as a result of anti-estrogen medication
Patients were randomized to either 10 weeks of traditional Chinese acupuncture or sham acupuncture.
The trial reported on a sample of 59 women with breast cancer.
A prospective, controlled trial design was used.
During the treatment period, the mean number of hot flashes at day and night was significantly reduced by 50% and almost 60%, respectively, from baseline in the acupuncture group, and was further reduced by 30% both at day and night during the next 12 weeks. In the sham acupuncture group, a significant reduction of 25% in hot flashes at day was seen during treatment, but was reversed during the following 12 weeks. No reduction was seen in hot flashes at night. Kupperman Index was reduced by 44% from baseline to the end of the treatment period in the acupuncture group, and largely maintained 12 weeks after treatment ended. No corresponding changes were seen in the sham acupuncture group.
Longer studies are needed to see if effect continues.