Relieving Radiation-Induced Xerostomia with Acupuncture
Can acupuncture prevent and/or relieve radiation-induced xerostomia, an adverse effect among patients with head and neck cancer undergoing radiation therapy? That is the question that a group of researchers set out to explore in a randomized clinical trial of 339 patients who received acupuncture while they underwent radiotherapy. .
The results of the trial indicated that the xerostomia score of the true acupuncture group was significantly lower than that of the standard care control group. These findings suggest that acupuncture should be considered for the prevention of radiation-induced xerostomia, but further studies are needed to confirm their clinical relevance and generalizability.
We have invited Dr. Lorenzo Cohen, a member of the research group and the corresponding author for the study, to explain further how acupuncture could be an additional approach in dealing with radiation-induced xerostomia. Dr. Cohen is Professor in the Department of Palliative, Rehabilitation and Integrative Medicine and Director of the Integrative Medicine Program at UT MD Anderson Cancer Center.
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Until next time!
Chiraz Guessaier, CDA Oasis Manager