(HealthDay News) — Acupuncture can reduce aromatase inhibitor-related joint pain in women with early breast cancer, according to a study published in JAMA Network Open.
True acupuncture (TA) reduced pain at 52 weeks when compared with sham acupuncture (SA) or wait-list control (WC), researchers found.
The researchers examined the effect of acupuncture on aromatase inhibitor-related joint pain in a randomized trial conducted of 226 women with early-stage breast cancer. The patients were taking an aromatase inhibitor and had a score of 3 or higher on the Brief Pain Inventory Worst Pain (BPI-WP) item.
The patients were randomly assigned to receive TA (n=110), SA (n=59), or WC (n=57). The TA and SA protocols consisted of 6 weeks of intervention at 2 sessions per week, followed by 6 weeks with 1 session per week.
The 52-week mean BPI-WP score was 1.08 points lower in the TA group than in the SA group (P =.01) and was 0.99 points lower in the TA group than in the WC group (P =.03). The 52-week BPI pain interference score was significantly lower in the TA group than in the SA group (difference, 0.58; 95% CI, 0.00-1.16; P =.05).
“This study highlights the durability of the acupuncture response through one year, as well as the importance of having both SA and WC groups to fully evaluate the effect of the acupuncture intervention,” the authors wrote.
Two authors disclosed financial ties to industry.