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Myeloma – Acupuncture Helps ASCT

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“…examined if acupuncture could help manage symptom burden of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT) in patients with multiple myeloma”

 Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT) is a powerful weapon for multiple myeloma patients and survivors. High-dose chemotherapy can kill multiple myeloma. But an ASCT also causes multiple myeloma side effects including short, long-term and late stage “adverse events.” According to the study linked below, acupuncture (ACU) can help.

I know because I live with long-term and late stage side effects from my own ASCT that I underwent in 12/95. My mantra is “I wish I knew then what I know now.”

Acupuncture is one of the complementary therapies that I wish I knew about before my induction chemo and ASCT. The article linked and excerpted below explains that acupuncture helps MMers reduce several short-term side effects from an ASCT.

I am both a MM survivor and MM cancer coach. If you are considering having an ASCT please consider watching the brief video below to learn about evidence-based therapies that can help prepare your body for the procedure:

Click Now to Learn More about Accupunture

If you have any questions about your MM, your induction therapies or your long-term outlook please scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply to you ASAP.

Thank you,

David Emerson

  • MM Survivor
  • MM Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Recommended Reading:

Acupuncture Reduces Symptom Burden in Patients With Multiple Myeloma

“ACU is a powerful resource that has been around for thousands of years. The traditional Chinese medicine is effective in treating chronic pain and headaches, and is now being used by many patients with cancer as a complementary therapy alongside medicinal treatment.

Researchers from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) in New York City and MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, examined if ACU could help manage symptom burden of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT) in patients with multiple myeloma…

Medical teams currently rely on medication to manage these side effects, but patients on them still experience high symptom burden…

“Combining non-drug therapy with drug therapy for better symptom management is the future direction of cancer supportive care,” he said.

In the trial, patients underwent high-dose melphalan — a prescription chemotherapy drug used as a conditioning treatment prior to HCT — followed by autologous HCT, which is when the cells used in the transplant are the patient’s own.

Among the 60 patients participating, some received true ACU, while others received sham acupuncture, a research technique that removes the non-specific effects of ACU. This happened once a day for five days, starting the day after chemotherapy…

However, acupuncture was well tolerated among patients with few adverse events, noted the authors.

True ACU helped reduce nausea, lack of appetite and drowsiness at 15 days.

Among those who received sham ACU, they were more likely to increase pain medication use post-transplantation…”

Acupuncture Helps to Manage Effects of HSCT and Chemo in Myeloma Patients, Study Says

“Acupuncture can help ease the nausea and drowsiness that follows an autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplant in  multiple myeloma patients, a new study suggests.

These symptoms can be common in patients, as hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) is preceded by a heavy dose of chemotherapy.

To evaluate acupuncture’s effectiveness in helping to manage symptom burden, researchers enrolled about 60 myeloma patients set to undergo HSCT into a randomized clinical trial (NCT01811862) that they hope will be the foundation for a larger study…

Acupuncture treatment did not improve overall symptom severity, but patients who received it showed significant improvements in nausea, lack of appetite, and drowsiness 15 days after the transplant. Those in the acupunture treatment group also were five times less likely to require pain medication to manage their symptoms compared to those in the sham group.

“This is the first study that suggests acupuncture being a non-drug therapy that reduces symptoms and use of pain medications in bone marrow transplant patients,” Deng said. “If confirmed in a larger study, we would have one more therapy that helps those patients through the course of transplantation.”

Leave a Comment:

Regina Tse says last year

Would it be useful for current nausea, appetite and tiredness. I had my transplant July 2015

    David Emerson says last year

    Hi Regina- I have never read a study that cites acupuncture as a therapy for appetite and nausea but I do think acupuncture as well as frequent, moderate exercise will help your fatigue.

    David Emerson

Kathryn Guillaum says last year

I’m sharing this……so many more myeloma cases seem to be happening! Also, I’m sure you know about updates in CarT therapies. It’s all very promising!

    David Emerson says last year

    HI Kathryn- yes, I read about CAR-T therapy regularly. As for MM cases, it is possible that you now know more about MM and therefore notice MM more. You have become a veteran mm survivor 🙂

Kathryn L Guillaum says last year

***Just a Hello David, and Happy Holidays to you and your family***

I haven’t been able to get into the site ( haven’t been approved ), but I do follow you in Facebook.
Take care!

    David Emerson says last year

    Happy holiday to you as well Kathryn- I will send you another invitation to join Beating Myeloma.

    David Emerson

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