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Promise and Progress - Acupuncture, Real or Simulated, Eases Hot Flashes

Reprogramming Cancer Cells - The Story of Epigenetics
Issue No. 1

Acupuncture, Real or Simulated, Eases Hot Flashes

Date: July 16, 2014

Cancer, December 2013

Breast cancer patients who received actual acupuncture treatments and those who received simulated treatments, involving non-penetrating, retractable needles both experienced relief from hot flashes and other side effects caused by a class of drugs known as aromatase inhibitors.  The findings of this Kimmel Cancer Center and University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center collaborative study of 47 women support previous reports that even the sensation of skin pricks might be enough to generate natural chemicals that improve symptoms.  Larger studies to verify these preliminary findings are ongoing, says Vered Stearns, M.D., Breast Cancer Program Co-Director.

The research was funded by an American Society of Clinical Oncology Foundation Young Investigator’s Award, a Susan G. Komen Postdoctoral Fellowship Award, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and a CRAFT grant from the Maryland Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure.  The Kimmel Cancer Center and Greenebaum Cancer Center receive funding from the National Cancer Institute.

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