Complimentary Therapies for Cancer– Digest – February 2016

Our current literature update includes:

 

CAM USE

Authors
Strizich G; Gammon MD; Jacobson JS; Wall M; Abrahamson P; Bradshaw PT; Terry MB; Teitelbaum S; Neugut AI; Greenlee H.
Title
Latent class analysis suggests four distinct classes of complementary medicine users among women with breast cancer.
Source
BMC Complementary & Alternative Medicine. 15(1):411, 2015.
Abstract
BACKGROUND: Breast cancer patients commonly report using >1 form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). However, few studies have
attempted to analyze predictors and outcomes of multiple CAM modalities. We sought to group breast cancer patients by clusters of type and intensity of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use following diagnosis.

METHODS: Detailed CAM use following breast cancer diagnosis was assessed in 2002-2003 among 764 female residents of Long Island, New York diagnosed with breast cancer in 1996-1997. Latent class analysis (LCA) was applied to CAM modalities while taking into account frequency and intensities.

RESULTS: Four distinct latent classes of CAM use emerged: 1) "Low-dose supplement users" (40 %), who used only common nutritional supplements; 2) "Vitamin/mineral supplement users" (39 %), using an abundance of supplements in addition to other practices; 3) "Mind-body medicine users" (12 %), with near-universal use of supplements, mind-body medicine techniques, and massage; and 4) "Multi-modality high-dose users" (9 %), who were highly likely to use nearly all types of CAM. Predictors of membership in classes with substantial CAM use included younger age, more education, higher income, Jewish religion, ideal body mass index, higher fruit and vegetable intake, higher levels of physical activity, receipt of adjuvant chemotherapy, and prior use of oral contraceptives.

CONCLUSIONS: LCA identified important subgroups of breast cancer patients characterized by varying degrees of complementary therapy use. Further research should explore the reproducibility of these classes and investigate the association between latent class membership and breast cancer outcomes.

ACUPUNCTURE

Authors
Wu X; Chung VCh; Hui EP; Ziea ET; Ng BF; Ho RS; Tsoi KK; Wong SY;
Wu JC.
Title
Effectiveness of acupuncture and related therapies for palliative care of cancer: overview of systematic reviews.
Source
Scientific Reports. 5:16776, 2015.
Abstract
Acupuncture and related therapies such as moxibustion and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation are often used to manage cancer-related symptoms, but their effectiveness and safety are controversial. We conducted this overview to summarise the evidence on acupuncture for palliative care of cancer. Our stematic review synthesised the results from clinical trials of patients with any type of cancer. The methodological quality of the 23 systematic reviews in this overview, assessed using the Methodological Quality of Systematic Reviews Instrument, was found to be satisfactory. There is evidence for the therapeutic effects of acupuncture for the management of cancer-related fatigue, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting and leucopenia in patients with cancer. There is conflicting evidence regarding the treatment of cancer-related pain, hot flashes and hiccups, and improving patients' quality of life. The available evidence is currently insufficient to support or refute the potential of acupuncture and related therapies in the management of xerostomia, dyspnea and lymphedema and in the improvement of psychological well-being. No serious adverse effects were reported in any study. Because acupuncture appears to be relatively safe, it could be considered as a complementary form of palliative care for cancer, especially for clinical problems for which conventional care options are limited.

TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE

Authors
Tao W; Luo X; Cui B; Liang D; Wang C; Duan Y; Li X; Zhou S; Zhao M; Li Y; He Y; Wang S; Kelley KW; Jiang P; Liu Q.
Title
Practice of traditional Chinese medicine for psycho-behavioral intervention improves quality of life in cancer patients: A systematic review and meta-analysis.
Source
Oncotarget. 6(37):39725-39, 2015 Nov 24.
Abstract
BACKGROUND: Cancer patients suffer from diverse symptoms, including depression, anxiety, pain, and fatigue and lower quality of life (QoL) during disease progression. This study aimed to evaluate the benefits of Traditional Chinese Medicine psycho-behavioral interventions (TCM PBIs) on improving QoL by meta-analysis.
RESULTS: The six TCM PBIs analyzed were acupuncture, Chinese massage, Traditional Chinese Medicine five elements musical intervention (TCM FEMI), Traditional Chinese Medicine dietary supplement (TCM DS), Qigong and Tai Chi. Although both TCM PBIs and non-TCM PBIs reduced functional impairments in cancer patients and led to pain relief, depression remission, reduced time to flatulence following surgery and sleep improvement, TCM PBIs showed more beneficial effects as assessed by reducing both fatigue and gastrointestinal distress. In particular, acupuncture relieved fatigue, reduced diarrhea and decreased time to flatulence after surgery in cancer patients, while therapeutic Chinese massage reduced time to flatulence and time to peristaltic sound.
METHODS: Electronic literature databases (PubMed, CNKI, VIP, and Wanfang) were searched for randomized, controlled trials conducted in China. The primary intervention was TCM PBIs. The main outcome was health-related QoL (HR QoL) post-treatment. We applied standard meta analytic techniques to analyze data from papers that reached acceptable criteria.
CONCLUSION: These findings demonstrate the efficacy of TCM PBIs in improving QoL in cancer patients and establish that TCM PBIs represent beneficial adjunctive therapies for cancer patients.

YOGA
Authors
Hooke MC; Gilchrist L; Foster L; Langevin M; Lee J.
Title
Yoga for Children and Adolescents After Completing Cancer Treatment.
Source
Journal of Pediatric Oncology Nursing. 33(1):64-73, 2016 Jan.
Abstract
Survivors of childhood cancer may experience persistent symptoms, including fatigue, sleep disturbance, and balance impairment. Yoga is a complementary therapy that improves fatigue, sleep, and quality of life in adult cancer survivors. Using a one group, repeated measures design, we evaluated the feasibility of a yoga program and assessed if cancer survivor participants ages 10 to 17 years (n = 13) had significantly less fatigue and anxiety, and better balance and sleep, after a 6-week yoga intervention compared with a 6-week pre-intervention wait period. Study recruitment was challenging with a 32% enrollment rate; yoga attendance was 90%. None of the scores for anxiety, fatigue, sleep, and balance had significant changes during the wait period. After the 6-week yoga program children (n = 7) had a significant decrease in anxiety score (P = .04) while adolescent scores (n = 7) showed a decreasing trend (P = .10). Scores for fatigue, sleep, and balance remained stable post-intervention. Fatigue and balance scores were below norms for health children/adolescents while sleep and anxiety scores were similar to healthy peers.

PHYSICAL THERAPY

Authors
Tacani PM; Franceschini JP; Tacani RE; Machado AF; Montezello D; Goes
JC; Marx A.
Title
Retrospective study of the physical therapy modalities applied in head and neck lymphedema treatment.
Source
Head & Neck. 38(2):301-8, 2016 Feb.
Abstract
BACKGROUND: Secondary lymphedema after head and neck cancer treatment is a serious complication and its management can be a challenge. The purpose of this study was to verify which physical therapy modalities were applied in the treatment of head and neck lymphedema through a retrospective analysis.
METHODS: A retrospective study was developed, based on the analysis of medical records of 32 patients treated in the physiotherapy outpatient department of the Brazilian Institute of Cancer Control (IBCC).
RESULTS: The physiotherapy included manual lymphatic drainage, massage, exercises, patient education, and compression therapy with an average of 23.9+/-14.8 sessions. Measurement results showed a significant reduction of face and neck lymphedema (p<.05) and pain (from 7.8+/-2.2 to 3.6+/-1.6; p<.001).
CONCLUSION: The physical therapy modalities based on strategic manual lymphatic drainage, shoulder girdle massage, facial, tongue and neck exercises, compressive therapy at home, and patient education showed reduction of the lymphedema and pain, both of them secondary to head and neck cancer treatment.