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Minerva Medica 2007 December;98(6):665-8

language: English

A progress study of 100 cancer patients treated by acupressure for chemotherapy-induced vomiting after failure with the pharmacological approach

Gardani G., Cerrone R., Biella C., Galbiati G., Proserpio E., Casiraghi M., Arnoffi J., Meregalli M., Trabattoni P., Dapretto E., Giani L., Messina G., Lissoni P.

Department of Radiotherapy and Oncology San Gerardo Hospital Monza, Milan, Italy


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Aim. The recent rediscovery of the natural traditional medical sciences has contributed to improve the treatment of the human diseases and, in particular, it has been shown that the pharmacological approach is not the only possible strategy in the treatment of nausea and vomiting, since bioenergetic approaches, such as acupressure and acupuncture, may also counteract the onset of vomiting due to different causes. Previous preliminary clinical studies had already suggested a possible efficacy of acupressure also in the treatment of chemotherapy-induced vomiting resistant to the classical antiemetic drugs. The aim of this study was to confirm these preliminary data.
Methods. The study was performed in 100 consecutive metastatic solid tumour patients, who underwent chemotherapy for their advanced neoplastic disease, and who had no benefit from the standard antiemetic agents, including corticosteroids, antidopaminergics and 5-HT 3R-antagonists. Acupressure was made by a stimulation of PC6 acupoint.
Results. The emetic symptomatology was reduced by acupressure in 68/100 (68%) patients, without significant differences in relation to tumour histotype. The lowest efficacy was observed in patients treated by anthracycline-containing regimens, without, however, statistically significant differences with respect to the other chemotherapeutic combinations.
Conclusion. This study confirms previous preliminary clinical results, which had already suggested the potential efficacy of acupressure in the treatment of vomiting due to cancer chemotherapy. Therefore, acupressure may be successfully included within the therapeutic strategies of cancer chemotherapy-induced vomiting.

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