Ashamalla, H., Jiang, M. L., Guirguis, A., Peluso, F., & Ashamalla, M. (2011). Acupuncture for the alleviation of hot flashes in men treated with androgen ablation therapy. International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics, 79(5), 1358-1363.doi:10.1016/j.ijrobp.2010.01.025
To study the effect of acupuncture on hot flashes in men with prostate cancer treated with androgen deprivation
Men with hot flashes occurring at least 3 or more times per day for at least three days before enrollment were enrolled. They completed hot flash diaries with resulting hot flash scores at baseline, daily for at least 6 weeks, and then monthly for 8 months (targeted time was 36 months). Acupuncture was administered by same acupuncturist twice a week for 4 weeks to the same 10 points with electro stimulation applied to 8 of the 10 points per protocol.
The study enrolled men with locally advanced prostate cancer, who had been treated with androgen deprivation therapy as an adjuvant to radiation therapy, radical prostatectomty, or brachytherapy. All men must have had hot flashes occurring at least 3 or more times per day for at least three days before enrollment. Patients could not be receiving medications for hot flashes nor have a history of acupuncture treatment.
PHASE OF CARE: Active Treatment
APPLICATIONS: Late effects & survivorship; Elderly care
Prospective single arm trial
Mean initial Hot Flash Score (HFS) was 28.3, which decreased to 10.3 (p= 0.0001) at 2 weeks post-treatment, 7.5 (p = 0.0001) at 6 weeks post-treatment, and 7.0 (p= 0.0001) at 8 months post-treatment. Clinical improvement for each patient was defined as the percent decrease in the mean HFS at each time point. The mean improvement at weeks 2 and 6 was 68.4% and 89.2%.
In this limited sample size, acupuncture appeared to reduce hot flash symptoms experienced by men treated with androgen deprivation for their locally advanced prostate cancer.
Further research is needed in larger sample sizes to determine effectiveness, and the reproducibility of the study when using multiple providers. The study explored the long term benefits of using acupuncture and suggested (demonstrated) an 80.3% decrease in HFS at the 8-month follow-up.