One of the main goals of SIO’s research committee is to disseminate updated research to our members.  As such, we recently started a Research Update program.  We will provide bi-monthly updates of relevant literature by selecting a number of recent papers to be listed on the SIO website, based on search criteria that focus on original clinical research in human populations spanning a full range of complementary therapy modalities.  For chosen papers we will include the abstract and link to the journal cite for downloads.  We hope you enjoy this new feature and appreciate your comments and feedback! 

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    February 2019 Research Findings

 Balneaves LG, Wong ME, Porcino AJ, Truant TLO, Thorne SE, Wong ST. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) information and support needs of Chinese-speaking cancer patients. Support Care Cancer 2018 Dec;26(12):4151-4159 PMID 29862452

PURPOSE: Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is popular among Chinese-speaking cancer patients (CSCPs), but little research examines CAM use by Canadian CSCPs. The use of CAM is controversial because of potential interactions with conventional cancer treatments. The purpose of this study was to explore CSCPs' use of CAM, sources of CAM information, and decision support needs, as well as their experience of making CAM decisions. METHODS: A sequential, multi-method research design was used: a secondary data analysis of a CAM use survey conducted in a Western Canadian regional cancer agency followed by a qualitative interpretive description approach to inquiry using semi-structured interviews with CSPCs and support persons. RESULTS: More than 65% of CSCPs reported using CAM. CSCPs favored biologically-based therapies, including traditional Chinese medicine herbs and other natural health products. Many CSCPs were using CAM without adequate culturally appropriate information and decision support. Those who made decisions spontaneously relied on peers for advice whereas deliberate decision makers sought information from multiple sources, including peers and the Internet, selecting therapies congruent with their cultural health perspectives and previous experiences with CAM. CSCPs rarely spoke with oncology healthcare providers (HCPs) about CAM use. CONCLUSIONS: CSCPs reported using CAM at rates significantly higher than for non-CSCPs. Given the predominance of biological-based therapies and the lack of consultation with oncology HCPs, it is imperative that CAM use be assessed and documented to ensure CSCPs' safety during cancer treatment. Culturally appropriate information and decision support is required to ensure that CSCPs are making safe and informed CAM decisions.

        Geng L, Wang J, Cheng L, Zhang B, Shen H. Mindful Learning Improves Positive Feelings of Cancer Patients' Family Caregivers. Int J Environ Res Public Health 2019 Jan 16;16(2):10.3390/ijerph16020248 PMID 30654534

Positive feelings are an important health dimension for family caregivers of cancer patients. The aim of this study was to investigate whether Langerian mindfulness is a valid proactive method to increase the positive feelings of family caregivers for cancer patients. Participants were randomly assigned to either a mindfulness group or a mindlessness group and completed the Caregiver Reaction Assessment (CRA) as a measure of caregivers' feelings before the intervention. Subsequently, both groups were given four sessions of mindfulness training using "innovation classification". Finally, participants completed the Langer Mindfulness Scale (LMS) and the Positive Aspects of Caregiving (PAC) scale as post-intervention measures. The results revealed that participants in the mindfulness and mindlessness groups differed significantly in LMS and PAC scores, with the mindfulness group having higher levels of positive feelings than those in the mindlessness group. The results also indicated that mindfulness level significantly predicted positive feelings of caregivers. Thus mindful interventions may play a meaningful role in promoting family caregivers' spirituality and faith, improving the willingness of sharing their thoughts, beliefs, and grief, which could be useful for increasing the positive feelings of caregivers.

        Genovese TJ, Mao JJ. Genetic Predictors of Response to Acupuncture for Aromatase Inhibitor-Associated Arthralgia Among Breast Cancer Survivors. Pain Med 2019 Jan 1;20(1):191-194 PMID 29912452

Objective: To evaluate the associations between polymorphisms in two genes, catechol-O-methyltransferase and T-cell leukemia/lymphoma 1 A, and acupuncture-mediated pain reduction among breast cancer survivors with aromatase inhibitor-associated arthralgia. Design, Setting, and Subjects: Biospecimens were obtained from 38 patients enrolled in a clinical trial of acupuncture for aromatase inhibitor-associated arthralgia in postmenopausal hormone receptor-positive breast cancer survivors. Methods: We used polymerase chain reaction to genotype the rs4680 (Val158Met) and rs4633 (His62His) variants in the catechol-O-methyltransferase gene and rs2369049 (A > G) and rs7158782 (A > G) variants in the T-cell leukemia/lymphoma 1 A gene. Response to acupuncture was defined by 30% reduction in end-of-treatment average pain, measured by the Brief Pain Inventory. We used Fisher exact tests to evaluate associations between genotype and treatment response. Results: Among participants, all six (15.8%) subjects who expressed AA in locus rs4680 responded to acupuncture. In a combined analysis, the 18 (47.4%) subjects with the responder genotype at either rs4680 (AA) or rs2369049 (GG or AG) were significantly more likely to respond to acupuncture than those without (77.8% vs 45.0%, P = 0.039). Conclusions: Specific genetic variations at loci rs4680 and rs2369049 are associated with response to acupuncture-type intervention for management of arthralgia. These results serve as a proof of concept for applying a precision medicine framework to the study of cancer pain management.

        Gholizadeh F, Ghahremani MH, Aliebrahimi S, Shadboorestan A, Ostad SN. Assessment of Cannabinoids Agonist and Antagonist in Invasion Potential of K562 Cancer Cells. Iran Biomed J 2019 Mar;23(2):153-158 PMID 29883990

Background: The prominent hallmark of malignancies is the metastatic spread of cancer cells. Recent studies have reported that the nature of invasive cells could be changed after this phenomenon, causing chemotherapy resistance. It has been demonstrated that the up-regulated expression of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) 2/MMP-9, as a metastasis biomarker, can fortify the metastatic potential of leukemia. Furthermore, investigations have confirmed the inhibitory effect of cannabinoid and endocannabinoid on the proliferation of cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. Methods: In the present study, the inhibitory effect of WIN 55212-2 (a CB1/CB2 receptor agonist) and AM251 (a selective CB1 receptor antagonist) on K562 cells, as a chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) model, was evaluated using MTT and invasion assay. Expressions of MMP-2 and MMP-9 were then assessed by Western blot analysis. Results: The data obtained from MTT assay showed that WIN 55212-2 could attenuate cell proliferation; however, AM251 was less effective in this regard. Our results showed that WIN 55212-2 considerably reduced cancer cell invasiveness, while AM251 exhibited a converse effect. Moreover, CB1 activation resulted in decreased expression of MMP-2 and MMP-9. Conclusion: Our findings clarifies that CB1 receptors are responsible for anti-invasive effects in the K562 cell line.

        Horneber M, van Ackeren G, Fischer F, Kappauf H, Birkmann J. Addressing Unmet Information Needs: Results of a Clinician-Led Consultation Service About Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Cancer Patients and Their Relatives. Integr Cancer Ther 2018 Dec;17(4):1172-1182 PMID 30352519

PURPOSE: To report on a telephone consultation service with cancer patients and their relatives about complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) between 1999 and 2011. METHODS: We offered a Germany-wide, free-of-charge telephone consultation service about CAM led by oncology clinicians from a comprehensive cancer center. The consultations followed a patient-centered approach with the aim to provide guidance and evidence-based information. Sociodemographic, disease-related data as well as information about the consultations' content were collected in a standardized manner, and feedback questionnaires were sent out immediately after the consultations. RESULTS: Overall, 5269 callers from all over Germany used the service (57% patients, 43% relatives). The "big 4" cancer types (breast, gastrointestinal, prostate, and lung) accounted for 55% of all calls. In 67% of calls, patients had just received the diagnosis or commenced anticancer therapy; 69% of patients had advanced or metastatic diseases. More than half of the callers (55%) had vague concerns like "what else can I do?" rather than specific questions related to CAM. The consultations covered a broad spectrum of issues from CAM therapies to cancer treatment and measures supportive of health, nutrition, and psychosocial support. Callers highly valued the service. CONCLUSIONS: Consulting about CAM addresses important unmet needs from cancer patients and their relatives. It provides clinicians with the opportunity to engage in open and supportive dialogues about evidence-based CAM to help with symptom management, psychological support, and individual self-care. Consulting about CAM cannot be separated from consulting about conventional care and should be provided from the beginning of the cancer journey.

        Huang CH, Chang HP, Su SY, Chen WK, Chang YJ, Lee YC, et al. Traditional Chinese medicine is associated with a decreased risk of heart failure in breast cancer patients receiving doxorubicin treatment. J Ethnopharmacol 2019 Jan 30;229:15-21 PMID 30261193

ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Cardiovascular disease is the main concern of breast cancer survivors who received doxorubicin treatment. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) provides as a complementary therapy to patients with breast cancer and is an important component of health care in Taiwan. However, the TCM utilization patterns and it's efficacy in breast cancer patients is unknown. MATERIALS AND METHODS: From a sample of claims data collected over the period of 1997-2010 in Taiwan, we identified 24,457 breast cancer patients who received TCM treatments and 24,457 breast cancer patients who did not receive TCM treatments. All enrollment patients had received doxorubicin chemotherapy. These patients were paired by age; index day; and propensity score for selected comorbidities, Herceptin and tamoxifen. The incidence of cumulative congestive heart failure (CHF) was compared between cohorts. Fine and Gray regression hazard model was used to evaluate the risk of CHF. RESULTS: After adjusting for age, Herceptin, tamoxifen, diabetic drug, cardiovascular drug, statin and comorbidities, the stratified Fine and Gray model revealed that the TCM cohort had an adjusted subdistribution hazard ratio (sHR) of 0.68 (95% confidence interval (CI) =0.62-0.76, p<0.0001) for the development of CHF. In addition, the sub-cohort analysis revealed that the Baihuasheshecao cohort compared to the non-TCM cohort had an adjusted sHR of 0.29 (95% CI = 0.15-0.56, p=0.0002) for the development of CHF. CONCLUSION: Using TCM significantly decreased the incidence of CHF in patients with breast cancer who received conventional chemotherapy with or without radiotherapy.

        Kim K, Lee S. Intradermal Acupuncture Along with Analgesics for Pain Control in Advanced Cancer Cases: A Pilot, Randomized, Patient-Assessor-Blinded, Controlled Trial. Integr Cancer Ther 2018 Dec;17(4):1137-1143 PMID 30009652

PURPOSE: Ninety percent of patients with advanced cancer have moderate to severe pain, and up to 70% of patients with cancer pain do not receive adequate pain relief. This randomized controlled clinical trial was designed to determine the feasibility and evaluate the effects and safety of intradermal acupuncture (IA) in patients who were being administered analgesics for cancer pain. METHODS: Advanced cancer patients experiencing pain were randomly assigned to IA or sham IA treatment for 3 weeks (15 patients for each group), wherein the CV12, bilateral ST25, LI4, LR3, PC06, and Ashi points were selected and stimulated. Follow-up evaluations were conducted 3 weeks after the end of treatments. The grade and dosage of analgesics for cancer pain, pain intensity, quality of life, and safety were assessed. RESULTS: Twenty-seven patients (90%) completed 6-week trial, and no serious adverse events were associated with either IA or sham IA procedures except the transient side effect such as fatigue. Nine patients in the IA group (64.3%) and 5 in the sham IA group (38.5%) responded to the 3-week intervention. These patients were mostly in the nonopioid and the weak opioid levels of the World Health Organization analgesic ladder. Self-reported pain declined by -1.54 +/- 1.45 and -1.15 +/- 1.57 in the IA and sham IA groups, respectively, with improved quality of life reported. CONCLUSIONS: IA treatment appears feasible and safe for advanced cancer patients. It might reduce analgesic usage in the early World Health Organization analgesic ladder stage cancer patient, though it could not show significant outcome differences due to design limitation of sham IA.

        Kim KS, Loring S, Kwekkeboom K. Use of Art-Making Intervention for Pain and Quality of Life Among Cancer Patients: A Systematic Review. J Holist Nurs 2018 Dec;36(4):341-353 PMID 28836473

BACKGROUND: Although pain is one of the most prevalent symptoms among cancer patients, medications do not always result in sufficient pain relief. Furthermore, these medications only address the physical component of pain. Art making, a holistic approach, may distract the user's attention from pain and allow expression of the nonphysical (e.g., psychological, spiritual) components of pain. The purpose of this systematic review was to evaluate evidence for the efficacy of art-making interventions in reducing pain and improving health-related quality of life (QoL) among cancer patients. METHOD: PubMed, Academic Search Premier, ProQuest, and CINAHL were searched from database inception to September 2016 using the following search terms: neoplasm, cancer, tumor, pain, pain management, quality of life (QoL), well-being, art therapy, painting, and drawing. RESULTS: Fourteen articles reporting 13 studies were reviewed. Some studies reported beneficial effects of art making on pain and QoL, but the evidence was weakened by poor study quality ratings, heterogeneity in art-making interventions and outcome measures, interventions including non-art-making components, and few randomized controlled studies. CONCLUSION: More rigorous research is needed to demonstrate the efficacy of art making in relieving cancer-related pain and improving QoL.

        Kim TH, Kang JW, Lee TH. Therapeutic options for aromatase inhibitor-associated arthralgia in breast cancer survivors: A systematic review of systematic reviews, evidence mapping, and network meta-analysis. Maturitas 2018 Dec;118:29-37 PMID 30415752

Aromatase inhibitor-associated arthralgia (AIA) is a common problem in breast cancer survivors and is associated with noncompliance with aromatase inhibitor therapy. The aim of this research was to assess the current evidence for the various therapeutic options available for AIA. We searched the PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects for systematic reviews of trials investigating treatments for AIA to June 2018. Eligible systematic reviews were subjected to evidence mapping and the randomized controlled trials included in the systematic reviews were hand-searched for a network meta-analysis. Six systematic reviews were included in the evidence mapping. Acupuncture was the most common treatment modality studied (four randomized controlled trials), and pharmacological interventions, aerobic exercise, Nordic walking, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D were assessed less frequently. In view of the limitations in the overall confidence level for each review, the evidence for acupuncture as an effective treatment for AIA was considered low. Second, data from 6 randomized controlled trials were included in the network meta-analysis. When compared with a waiting list control, acupuncture (mean difference [MD] -2.00, 95% confidence interval [CI] -3.16, -0.84), aerobic exercise (MD -0.80, 95% CI -1.33, -0.016), and omega-3 fatty acids (MD -2.10, 95% CI -3.23, -0.97) significantly improved pain severity scores. Network meta-analysis of adverse events was not possible because of poor reporting. Acupuncture is presently the most widely investigated intervention but is recommended for AIA with low overall confidence based on the current evidence.

        Latte-Naor S, Mao JJ. Putting Integrative Oncology Into Practice: Concepts and Approaches. J Oncol Pract 2019 Jan;15(1):7-14 PMID 30629900

Unmet symptom needs and a desire for holistic health approaches or even cure are among the motivations patients have for seeking out complementary and alternative medicine. Using complementary and alternative medicine instead of conventional cancer treatment can have a negative impact on clinical outcomes and survival. Integrative oncology is a patient-centered, evidence-informed field of comprehensive cancer care that uses mind-body practices, natural products, and lifestyle modifications from different traditions alongside conventional cancer treatments. It prioritizes safety and best available evidence to offer appropriate therapeutic interventions along with conventional care. This review summarizes the underlying principles of integrative oncology and how it is distinct from alternative medicine, and it provides a practical guide for the effective application of evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine interventions in patient-centered care. In addition, we recommend resources for patients and clinicians and provide algorithms for appropriate integrative medicine referrals. Finally, we offer suggestions on developing and implementing an integrative oncology program and addressing current challenges in the field.

        Lim CH, Yoo JE. A case report of traditional Korean medicine treatments on uterine myoma with thyroid cancer. Integr Med Res 2018 Dec;7(4):303-306 PMID 30505680

Uterine myoma is a common benign tumor. When the symptoms are not severe, patients are often suggested to wait for menopause without treatment. If the size becomes too large or the symptoms get worse, the patient will receive surgery or hormone therapy. If a patient does not receive surgery or hormone therapy because of the waiting period, traditional Korean medicine (TKM) treatment can be applied. This is a case of a 47-year-old woman who was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and uterine myoma. She was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2012 and uterine myoma in 2013. She had not received treatments. In December 2017, the size of the uterine myoma increased to more than 8 cm, and the patient suffered from dysmenorrhea, urination frequency, and vaginal discharges. She wanted TKM treatment instead of surgery or hormone therapy. From January 16, 2018 to April 12, 2018, she received TKM treatment; herbal medicine, acupuncture, moxibustion, and pharmacopuncture. Before the treatment, the urination frequency was more than 10 times a day, but decreased to 6-7 times a day after treatments. Dysmenorrhea decreased from VAS8 to VAS5 after treatments. After menstruation, the duration of vaginal secretion persisted for 3-4 days, but after treatments, it was visible only for a 1 day after menstruation. Ultrasonography showed that the thyroid cancer did not worsen and the size of uterine myoma decreased by 2 cm. It is considered that TKM treatment, as a substitute for surgery or hormone therapy, will exert positive effect on uterine myoma without the aggravation of thyroid cancer.

        Liu T, Zhang W, Xiao S, Xu L, Wen Q, Bai L, et al. Mindfulness-based stress reduction in patients with differentiated thyroid cancer receiving radioactive iodine therapy: a randomized controlled trial. Cancer Manag Res 2019 Jan 4;11:467-474 PMID 30655698

Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) on health-related quality of life (QoL), depression, and anxiety in patients with differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) receiving radioactive iodine therapy (RIT). Patients and methods: A randomized controlled trial of MBSR with 120 DTC patients was performed. They were randomly assigned into the MBSR intervention group and usual care (UC) group. An 8-week MBSR program was administered to the MBSR group starting 8 weeks before RIT. Health-related QoL, depression, and anxiety were measured immediately before the start of MBSR (T1), immediately after RIT hospitalization was concluded (1 week after concluding the last MBSR session, T2), and 3 months after RIT hospitalization (T3), using the QoL Questionnaire Core 30 Items (QLQ-C30), Self-rating Depression Scale (SDS), and Self-rating Anxiety Scale (SAS). Results: Fifty-three patients in the UC group and 49 patients in the MBSR group completed the study and were analyzed. Both the UC and MBSR groups reported low QoL and high SDS and SAS scores immediately after RIT hospitalization. Patients randomly assigned to the MBSR group showed significantly greater improvements in emotional function (P=0.012, d=-0.03 for T2 and d=1.17 for T3), fatigue (P=0.037, d=1.00 for T2 and d=-0.69 for T3), global QoL (P=0.015, d=1.61 for T2 and d=1.56 for T3), depression (P=0.027, d=-1.19 for T2 and d=-0.83 for T3), and anxiety (P=0.043, d=-1.00 for T2 and d=-0.86 for T3). Conclusion: An 8-week MBSR program significantly improved a wide range of scales in health-related QoL and mitigated depression and anxiety among DTC patients receiving RIT.

        Lopez G, Chaoul A, Powers-James C, Eddy CA, Mallaiah S, Gomez TI, et al. Group Yoga Effects on Cancer Patient and Caregiver Symptom Distress: Assessment of Self-reported Symptoms at a Comprehensive Cancer Center. Integr Cancer Ther 2018 Dec;17(4):1087-1094 PMID 30168358

BACKGROUND: Complementary and integrative health approaches such as yoga provide support for psychosocial health. We explored the effects of group-based yoga classes offered through an integrative medicine center at a comprehensive cancer center. METHODS: Patients and caregivers had access to two yoga group classes: a lower intensity (YLow) or higher intensity (YHigh) class. Participants completed the Edmonton Symptom Assessment System (ESAS; scale 0-10, 10 most severe) immediately before and after the class. ESAS subscales analyzed included global (GDS; score 0-90), physical (PHS; 0-60), and psychological distress (PSS; 0-20). Data were analyzed examining pre-yoga and post-yoga symptom scores using paired t-tests and between types of classes using ANOVAs. RESULTS: From July 18, 2016, to August 8, 2017, 282 unique participants (205 patients, 77 caregivers; 85% female; ages 20-79 years) attended one or more yoga groups (mean 2.3). For all participants, we observed clinically significant reduction/improvement in GDS, PHS, and PSS scores and in symptoms (ESAS decrease >/=1; means) of anxiety, fatigue, well-being, depression, appetite, drowsiness, and sleep. Clinically significant improvement for both patients and caregivers was observed for anxiety, depression, fatigue, well-being, and all ESAS subscales. Comparing yoga groups, YLow contributed to greater improvement in sleep versus YHigh (-1.33 vs -0.50, P = .054). Improvement in fatigue for YLow was the greatest mean change (YLow -2.12). CONCLUSION: A single yoga group class resulted in clinically meaningful improvement of multiple self-reported symptoms. Further research is needed to better understand how yoga class content, intensity, and duration can affect outcomes.

        Lopez G, Milbury K, Chen M, Li Y, Bruera E, Cohen L. Couples' symptom burden in oncology care: perception of self and the other. Support Care Cancer 2019 Jan;27(1):139-145 PMID 29948392

BACKGROUND: The literature suggests that psychological distress and quality of life are interdependent in couples coping with cancer. The current study seeks to extend these findings to physical symptom burden, examining differences in symptom self-rating and perception of partner symptoms. METHODS: Couples were approached while waiting for an integrative oncology service. Fifty patients and their partners completed the Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale (ESAS-FS; twelve symptoms, scores 0-10, 10 worst possible) and a Global Health measure (PROMIS10). Patient and partner each also completed the ESAS-FS as it related to their perception of the other's symptoms. ESAS distress subscales analyzed included Global (GDS), Psychosocial (PSS), and Physical (PHS). Analyses included paired t tests to examine all measures. RESULTS: Fifty-eight percent of patients were female with most common cancer diagnoses of breast (22%), gastrointestinal (16%), and thoracic/H&N (16%). For ESAS-FS self-ratings, patients had significantly higher physical distress than partners, with a no significant difference in psychosocial distress. For PROMIS10 self-ratings, patients reported significantly lower global health and physical health, (p's < 0.001); no differences were found for mental health between patients and caregivers. Patient rating of partner physical distress (PHS, p = 0.01) was significantly higher than partner self-rating, with no significant difference observed in ratings for psychosocial distress. Partner rating of patient psychosocial distress (PSS, p < 0.001) and physical distress (PHS, p = 0.001) was significantly higher than that of patient self-rating. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that both patients and partners perceive physical distress of the other higher than self; however, patients may be more sensitive to psychosocial distress in their partners.

        Meng FF, Feng YH. A pilot study of acupuncture at pain acupoints for cervical cancer pain. Medicine (Baltimore) 2018 Dec;97(52):e13736 PMID 30593148

This retrospective study aimed to investigate the feasible effectiveness of acupuncture at pain acupoints for the treatment of patients with cervical cancer pain (CCP). A total of 64 cases were analyzed. All these cases were assigned to an acupuncture group or a control group according to the different therapies they received. The cases in the acupuncture group received acupuncture treatment at pain acupoints, while the subjects in the control group underwent acupuncture at regular acupoints. The primary endpoint was CCP, assessed by numeric rating scale (NRS). The secondary endpoints were evaluated by the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire-Core 30 (EORTC QLQ-C30), and Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS). In addition, adverse events were also recorded during the treatment period. After treatment, patients in the acupuncture group exerted greater outcomes in CCP reduction when compared with patients in the control group (P < .01). In addition, no adverse events were recorded in either group. The results of this study showed that acupuncture at pain acupoints might be efficacious in patients with CCP after 14-day treatment.

        Panchik D, Masco S, Zinnikas P, Hillriegel B, Lauder T, Suttmann E, et al. Effect of Exercise on Breast Cancer-Related Lymphedema: What the Lymphatic Surgeon Needs to Know. J Reconstr Microsurg 2019 Jan;35(1):37-45 PMID 29935493

BACKGROUND: Breast cancer-related lymphedema (BCRL) affects many areas of daily living. Individuals with lymphedema may experience chronic and progressive swelling, recurrent skin infections, and decreased self-image and quality of life. For many years, it was considered best practice for this population to avoid exercise; however, in recent years, research has begun to challenge this belief. This systematic review and meta-analyses examined the recent literature on the effects of exercise for patients with, or at risk for, BCRL to inform best practice. METHODS: A total of 807 articles were retrieved from CINAHL, Academic Search Complete, Medline, and PubMed. Results were systematically filtered to 26 articles through inclusion criteria, exclusion criteria, and the Effective Public Health Practice Project quality assessment tool for quantitative studies. Data were pooled from studies containing relative and absolute volume measurements of limb volume, as well as upper extremity function measured by the Disabilities of Arm, Shoulder, and Hand (DASH) questionnaire; meta-analyses were conducted using SAS software. RESULTS: The literature was reviewed and statistically analyzed. Results have indicated aerobic exercise, resistance exercise, stretching, yoga, qigong, and pilates can be safe and effective in the management of symptoms for those with, or at risk for, BCRL. CONCLUSION: Several forms of exercise appear to be safe interventions for clinicians to use when treating this population and offer benefits such as improved quality of life, strength, body mass index, and mental health and decreased pain and lymphatic swelling. Additional research should be conducted to further examine the efficacy and safety of nontraditional forms of exercise in the treatment of BCRL.

        Pan-Weisz TM, Kryza-Lacombe M, Burkeen J, Hattangadi-Gluth J, Malcarne VL, McDonald CR. Patient-reported health-related quality of life outcomes in supportive-care interventions for adults with brain tumors: A systematic review. Psychooncology 2019 Jan;28(1):11-21 PMID 30280453

OBJECTIVES: The objectives of this systematic review were to (a) identify supportive-care (psychosocial/behavioral, pharmacological, complementary, or alternative) interventions that have been evaluated via randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to improve patient-reported health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among adults with brain tumors, (b) evaluate the quality of the intervention studies, and (c) evaluate if developed interventions have been efficacious at improving HRQoL, as compared with control conditions in RCTs. METHODS: This systematic review was conducted using preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Four databases were searched for RCTs of supportive-care interventions for adults with brain tumors, primary or metastatic, that included a patient-reported HRQoL outcome. Quality of the included studies was assessed using the Effective Public Health Practice Project Quality Assessment Tool for Quantitative Studies. RESULTS: Ten RCTs involving 640 patients with either a primary or metastatic brain tumor investigating supportive-care interventions with a HRQoL outcome were identified. In terms of quality, three of the studies received a "strong" rating, three received a "moderate" rating, and four of the studies received a "weak" rating. Only two of the interventions (ie, a home-based psychosocial intervention and individualized acupuncture with standard rehabilitation) demonstrated improvements in HRQoL over control conditions. CONCLUSIONS: HRQoL is of the utmost importance when treating patients with brain tumors. Yet there is a notable paucity of research to inform clinical decisions and evidence-based practice. More high-quality studies of interventions aimed at improving HRQoL are needed.

        Pellati F, Borgonetti V, Brighenti V, Biagi M, Benvenuti S, Corsi L. Cannabis sativa L. and Nonpsychoactive Cannabinoids: Their Chemistry and Role against Oxidative Stress, Inflammation, and Cancer. Biomed Res Int 2018 Dec 4;2018:1691428 PMID 30627539

In the last decades, a lot of attention has been paid to the compounds present in medicinal Cannabis sativa L., such as Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta(9)-THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), and their effects on inflammation and cancer-related pain. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) currently recognizes medicinal C. sativa as an effective treatment for providing relief in a number of symptoms associated with cancer, including pain, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, and anxiety. Several studies have described CBD as a multitarget molecule, acting as an adaptogen, and as a modulator, in different ways, depending on the type and location of disequilibrium both in the brain and in the body, mainly interacting with specific receptor proteins CB1 and CB2. CBD is present in both medicinal and fibre-type C. sativa plants, but, unlike Delta(9)-THC, it is completely nonpsychoactive. Fibre-type C. sativa (hemp) differs from medicinal C. sativa, since it contains only few levels of Delta(9)-THC and high levels of CBD and related nonpsychoactive compounds. In recent years, a number of preclinical researches have been focused on the role of CBD as an anticancer molecule, suggesting CBD (and CBD-like molecules present in the hemp extract) as a possible candidate for future clinical trials. CBD has been found to possess antioxidant activity in many studies, thus suggesting a possible role in the prevention of both neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases. In animal models, CBD has been shown to inhibit the progression of several cancer types. Moreover, it has been found that coadministration of CBD and Delta(9)-THC, followed by radiation therapy, causes an increase of autophagy and apoptosis in cancer cells. In addition, CBD is able to inhibit cell proliferation and to increase apoptosis in different types of cancer models. These activities seem to involve also alternative pathways, such as the interactions with TRPV and GRP55 receptor complexes. Moreover, the finding that the acidic precursor of CBD (cannabidiolic acid, CBDA) is able to inhibit the migration of breast cancer cells and to downregulate the proto-oncogene c-fos and the cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) highlights the possibility that CBDA might act on a common pathway of inflammation and cancer mechanisms, which might be responsible for its anticancer activity. In the light of all these findings, in this review we explore the effects and the molecular mechanisms of CBD on inflammation and cancer processes, highlighting also the role of minor cannabinoids and noncannabinoids constituents of Delta(9)-THC deprived hemp.

        Schwartz LA, Henry-Moss D, Egleston B, Patrick-Miller L, Markman E, Daly M, et al. Preventative Health and Risk Behaviors Among Adolescent Girls With and Without Family Histories of Breast Cancer. J Adolesc Health 2019 Jan;64(1):116-123 PMID 30301677

PURPOSE: To compare health behaviors (smoking, alcohol use, fruit and vegetable intake, and exercise frequency) and breast self-exam (BSE) between girls with breast cancer family history (BCFH+) and without (BCFH-) and assess associates of behaviors across all girls. METHODS: A total of 208 BCFH+ girls (11-19 years old), with first- or second-degree relatives with breast cancer or a mother with a BRCA1/2 mutation, and 112 BCFH- peers reported their health behaviors, beliefs, and psychosocial function. RESULTS: Despite higher BCFH+ girls' greater perceived breast cancer risk, there were no differences between BCFH+ and BCFH- girls on diet, exercise, alcohol initiation, or BSE. BCFH+ girls were slightly more likely to report trying cigarettes (11% vs. 5%, p=.04). In multivariable models with all girls, categorical associations with behaviors included the following: developmental and demographic factors with smoking, alcohol, diet, and exercise; family breast cancer history and experience with smoking, alcohol, and diet; psychosocial factors with smoking; girls perceptions of cancer controllability and mother support for health behaviors with alcohol, diet, exercise, and BSE; and mother behaviors with diet. CONCLUSIONS: Adolescent girls from BCFH+ families reported similar health behaviors to BCFH- peers, signaling that they are not translating their higher perceived risk into cancer control behaviors. Both uncontrollable (i.e., breast cancer experiences) and modifiable factors relate to health behaviors and warrant further investigation. Results indicate that interventions with teens and parents that target modifiable variables such as controllability perceptions, maternal modeling, and communication may relate to better health behaviors and reduced future breast cancer risk.

        van Driel C, de Bock GH, Schroevers MJ, Mourits MJ. Mindfulness-based stress reduction for menopausal symptoms after risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy (PURSUE study): a randomised controlled trial. BJOG 2019 Feb;126(3):402-411 PMID 30222235

OBJECTIVE: To assess the short- and long-term effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) on the resulting quality of life, sexual functioning, and sexual distress after risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy (RRSO). DESIGN: Randomised controlled trial. SETTING: A specialised family cancer clinic of the university medical center Groningen. POPULATION: Sixty-six women carriers of the BRCA1/2 mutation who developed at least two moderate-to-severe menopausal symptoms after RRSO. METHODS: Women were randomised to an 8-week MBSR training programme or to care as usual (CAU). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Change in the Menopause-Specific Quality of Life Questionnaire (MENQOL), the Female Sexual Function Index, and the Female Sexual Distress Scale, administered from baseline at 3, 6, and 12 months. Linear mixed modelling was applied to compare the effect of MBSR with CAU over time. RESULTS: At 3 and 12 months, there were statistically significant improvements in the MENQOL for the MBSR group compared with the CAU group (both P = 0.04). At 3 months, the mean MENQOL scores were 3.5 (95% confidence interval, 95% CI 3.0-3.9) and 3.8 (95% CI 3.3-4.2) for the MBSR and CAU groups, respectively; at 12 months, the corresponding values were 3.6 (95% CI 3.1-4.0) and 3.9 (95% CI 3.5-4.4). No significant differences were found between the MBSR and CAU groups in the other scores. CONCLUSION: Mindfulness-based stress reduction was effective at improving quality of life in the short- and long-term for patients with menopausal symptoms after RRSO; however, it was not associated with an improvement in sexual functioning or distress.

        Zhi WI, Ingram E, Li SQ, Chen P, Piulson L, Bao T. Acupuncture for Bortezomib-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy: Not Just for Pain. Integr Cancer Ther 2018 Dec;17(4):1079-1086 PMID 30027756

BACKGROUND: Bortezomib-induced peripheral neuropathy (BIPN) is a common and debilitating side effect. Our pilot study demonstrated that acupuncture is safe and can decrease total neuropathic symptoms. However, there is lack of knowledge in which individual BIPN symptoms benefited from acupuncture. PURPOSE: To characterize individual symptoms reduced by acupuncture in patients with BIPN. METHODS: Patients with multiple myeloma treated with bortezomib who developed BIPN grade 2 or above, based on National Cancer Institute Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (NCI CTCAE), were enrolled and received 10 acupuncture treatments over 10 weeks. Self-reported BIPN-associated symptoms assessments were collected weekly at baseline, during, and after acupuncture treatment using the Neuropathy Pain Scale (NPS) and the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy/Gynecologic Oncology Group-Neurotoxicity (FACT/GOG-Ntx) questionnaires. Changes in individual symptoms were analyzed based on FACT/GOG-Ntx and NPS scores. RESULTS: There were statistically significant reductions in individual symptoms in both NPS and FACT/GOG-Ntx. The FACT/GOG-Ntx reductions were most pronounced in hand/feet numbness/tingling, discomfort, and trouble walking. The sensory symptoms, such as tingling and numbness, especially in the feet, reduced the most ( P < .0001), and motor dysfunction also reduced significantly ( P = .0001). Both hearing and dysfunction scores were also statistically significantly increased, indicating improved symptoms. The NPS scores showed significant symptom relief in all 10 items from the NPS assessment, particularly in cold sensitivity and an unpleasant feeling. CONCLUSIONS: Acupuncture can improve multiple symptoms associated with BIPN, particularly numbness and tingling in hands and feet, cold sensitivity, and an unpleasant feeling. Further randomized control trials are warranted to confirm our findings.