Laser acupuncture attenuates oxaliplatin-induced peripheral neuropathy in patients with gastrointestinal cancer: a pilot prospective cohort study

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BackgroundOxaliplatin is a platinum compound that is widely used in the treatment of some solid tumours. Oxaliplatin-induced peripheral neuropathy (OIPN) in the upper and lower extremities is the major adverse side effect and represents the main dose-limiting factor of this drug. The aim of this single-arm study was to evaluate the feasibility and effects of laser acupuncture (LA) in the treatment of OIPN in patients with advanced gastrointestinal cancers.Methods17 gastrointestinal cancer survivors (14 colorectal and 3 gastric cancers), who had been treated with oxaliplatin-based chemotherapies, were recruited. Low-level laser stimulation (50 mW) bilaterally at PC6, PC7, PC8, P9, LU11, SP6, KI3, BL60, KI1, and KI2 was administered for 20 min/point for 12 sessions over 4 weeks. The pain quality assessment scale (PQAS), chemotherapy-induced neurotoxicity questionnaire (CINQ), oxaliplatin-specific neurotoxicity scale (OSNS), quantitative touch-detection threshold (using von Frey filaments), and cold-triggered pain withdrawal latency (using the cold-water immersion test) were measured before and after completion of the 12 treatment sessions.ResultsPQAS, CINQ, and OSNS scores, as well as touch-detection threshold and cold-trigger pain withdrawal latency all improved significantly after LA in the cancer patients with OIPN (p<0.05). LA significantly relieved both oxaliplatin-induced cold and mechanical allodynia and also decreased the incidence and severity of neurotoxicity symptoms in the patients' upper and lower extremities and impact on their daily activities (all p<0.05).ConclusionsFollowing treatment with LA, neurotoxicity symptoms were significantly improved in cancer patients with OIPN. Further randomised controlled trials are needed to evaluate the role of LA as a therapeutic option in the management of OIPN.

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