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Old 12-16-2007, 01:48 PM
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Default Acupuncture and Chemotherapy

In an exploratory meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials examining the effects of acupuncture on white blood cell count in patients with cancer undergoing or having just completed chemotherapy, increases in leukocytes were found to be associated with acupuncture treatment (however, the methodological quality of the studies was considerably poor).

The authors reviewed 33 articles, all of which were published in Chinese journals not on PubMed. Out of these articles, data from 11eligible trials were analyzed, which included a total of 682 patients. The median sample size of each comparison group was 45, and the median trial duration was 21 days.

Acupuncture was received an average of once/day for an average of 16 sessions per trial. Based on results from 7 trials from which data on white blood cells was available, acupuncture therapy was found to be associated with increases in leukocytes among patients undergoing chemotherapy or chemoradiotherapy.

An average weighted mean difference of 1,221 WBC/mul was found. While these findings are promising, the results must be interpreted with caution, given the poor methodological quality of the studies analyzed.

The authors conclude, "Acupuncture for chemotherapy-induced leucopenia is an intriguing clinical question�. Meta-analysis based on these published trials should be treated in an exploratory nature only."

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