Acupuncture and Massage May Be Part of Pain Management Plan in Patients with Advanced Cancer Interview with:
Jun J. Mao, MD, MSCE
Chief, Integrative Medicine Service
Laurance S. Rockefeller Chair in Integrative Medicine
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center What is the background for this study?

Response: Most of the pain intervention trials focused on cancer survivors who completed treatment or patients in hospice care, little is know how these treatments work in patients living with advanced cancer. With the improvement in cancer treatment, many people are now living with advanced cancer but suffer from pain from their cancer or treatment.

Since acupuncture and massage have been found effective to manage pain in other populations, we designed this study to compare the effectiveness of these two interventions for musculoskeletal pain among patients living with advanced cancer. We hoped these results will aid patients and their doctors to make informed decision in pain treatment. What are the main findings?

Response: Both treatments were associated with reduction in pain, pain-related functional impairment and pain medication use and improvement in quality of life;  however, neither treatment is superior to another. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: For patients living with advanced cancer, acupuncture and massage may be part of comprehensive pain management. These treatment may complement medications to reduce symptoms and improve quality of life and functions. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: We need to do more research to know who may benefit from acupuncture or massage and for what type of pain so treatment can be even more personalized. In addition, we need to test how best to implement these approaches in diverse oncological care delivery settings as well as how best integrate them with existing pharmacological therapies to improve quality and equity of pain management.

Disclosures: This trial is funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).

Citation: Epstein AS, Liou KT, Romero SAD, et al. Acupuncture vs Massage for Pain in Patients Living With Advanced Cancer: The IMPACT Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Netw Open. 2023;6(11):e2342482. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2023.42482

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Last Updated on November 28, 2023 by