According to a new systematic review published in the journal Supportive Care in Cancer, researchers have found that moxibustion is not superior to other drug therapy for the treatment of patients with chemotherapy-induced leukopenia.
For the study, researchers analyzed 12 databases for randomized clinical trials that included moxibustion as the only treatment or as part of a regimen with standard therapy for the treatment of chemotherapy-induced leukopenia.
The researchers identified six randomized clinical trials that assessed a total of 681 patients with various types of cancer who were receiving chemotherapy or were receiving treatment post-chemotherapy. They determined that all of the studies identified were associated with a high risk of bias based on the Cochrane criteria.
Results showed that two of the six randomized clinical trials demonstrated moxibustion plus chemotherapy was more effective than chemotherapy alone. The other four trials found that moxibustion was more effective than standard drug therapy for chemotherapy-induced leukopenia. In addition, all six trials demonstrated that moxibustion was more effective than numerous types of control interventions for improving leukocyte count.
The findings suggest that moxibustion is not superior to other drug therapies for chemotherapy-induced leukopenia, but the authors note that they cannot draw firm conclusions due to the low number of studies included, the small sample size, and the poor methodological quality. Moxibustion is a traditional Chinese medicine made from dried mugwort.
The purpose of this study is to assess the efficacy of moxibustion as a treatment of chemotherapy–induced leukopenia. There is low level of evidence based on these six trials that demonstrates the superiority of moxibustion over drug therapies in the treatment of chemotherapy–induced leukopenia..