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Acupuncture treatment of vasomotor symptoms in men with prostatic carcinoma: A pilot study
Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Linköping University, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Obstetrics and gynecology. Östergötlands Läns Landsting, Centre of Surgery and Oncology, Department of Surgery in Östergötland.
Linköping University, Department of health and environment. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Department of Surgery, County Hospital, Ludvika, Sweden.
Department of Surgery, County Hospital, Ludvika, Sweden.
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1999 (English)In: Journal of Urology, ISSN 0022-5347, E-ISSN 1527-3792, Vol. 161, no 3, 853-856 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

PURPOSE: Most men who undergo castration therapy for prostatic carcinoma will have vasomotor symptoms that usually persist for years. Vasomotor symptoms are elicited from the thermoregulatory center, possibly due to a decrease in hypothalamic opioid activity induced by low sex steroid concentrations. Acupuncture treatment in women, which stimulates hypothalamic opioid activity, alleviates vasomotor symptoms. We report on men treated with acupuncture for relief of vasomotor symptoms after castration therapy.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We asked 7 men with vasomotor symptoms due to castration therapy to receive acupuncture treatment 30 minutes twice weekly for 2 weeks and once a week for 10 weeks. Effects on flushes were recorded in logbooks.

RESULTS: Of the 7 men 6 completed at least 10 weeks of acupuncture therapy and all had a substantial decrease in the number of hot flushes (average 70% after 10 weeks). At 3 months after the last treatment the number of flushes was 50% lower than before therapy. Therapy was discontinued after 10 weeks because of a femoral neck fracture in 1 man and after 3 weeks due to severe back pain in 1.

CONCLUSIONS: Acupuncture may be a therapeutic alternative in men with hot flushes after castration therapy and merits further evaluation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
1999. Vol. 161, no 3, 853-856 p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-25941DOI: 10.1016/S0022-5347(01)61789-0ISI: 000078492300030Local ID: 10387OAI: diva2:246489
Available from: 2009-10-08 Created: 2009-10-08 Last updated: 2013-02-22
In thesis
1. Acupuncture treatment for hot flushes in women with breast cancer and men with prostate cancer
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Acupuncture treatment for hot flushes in women with breast cancer and men with prostate cancer
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Background: The group of women and men with a history of cancer and distressing hot flushes and sweating is growing. The flushes negatively affect Health Related Quality of Life (HRQoL), perhaps partially by disturbing sleep. Treatments that are effective, tolerable and safe need to be developed. There are a number of treatment alternatives that are often not very effective or associated with more or less serious side-effects. Based on theories on the mechanisms behind hot flushes and acupuncture, treatment with acupuncture has been tried in menopausal women with hot flushes and in a few studies in women with breast cancer (BCa).

Aim: The general aim of the research leading to this thesis was to evaluate the effect of acupuncture on hot flushes, HRQoL and sleep in men with prostate cancer (PCa) and women with BCa. To evaluate the effect in women with BCa of 12 weeks of electrostimulated acupuncture (EA) and two years of hormone therapy (HT) on number of, and distress caused by, hot flushes, and on HRQoL and sleep. To evaluate whether acupuncture therapy could be used to treat hot flushes in men with PCa treated with castration therapy, and then to evaluate in men with PCa and hot flushes the effect of 12 weeks of traditional acupuncture (TA) or EA on number of, and distress caused by, hot flushes and on urinary excretion of CGRP, HRQoL and sleep.

Subjects and methods: Forty-five women with a history of BCa were randomized to oral HT for two years or EA for 12 weeks and were followed up till two years after start of therapy. Thirty-eight men with PCa and hot flushes were treated with acupuncture. Seven men were treated with EA for 10 to 12 weeks in a pilot study. After positive results from this study 31 men were randomized between EA and TA for 12 weeks and followed up till nine months after end of treatment. Hot flushes, HRQoL and sleep were monitored by means of log books and validated questionnaires.

Results: The pilot study showed that 10 to 12 weeks of EA in men with PCa reduced number of hot flushes to below 50% of baseline with persistent effects at a follow up three months later. The two randomized studies showed that treatment with acupuncture in women with a history of BCa, and men with PCa was associated with a decrease in both the number of and distress caused by hot flushes by at least 50%. HT almost eliminated the hot flushes. There was no difference in reduction of hot flushes between men receiving EA or TA. Reduction of the number of hot flushes and distress caused by hot flushes probably leads to decreased disturbances at night, and was associated in women with a significant improvement in HRQoL and sleep variables. The improvement in HRQoL was as great in women treated with EA as in women receiving HT although the latter group had a more substantial reduction in number of flushes than the EA group suggesting that EA might have other effects in addition to those on hot flushes. In the men HRQoL did not change significantly. We saw very few and non-serious side-effects in the acupuncture groups and no signs that acupuncture activated the cancer or ovarian/testicular function.

Conclusions: Acupuncture reduced the number of hot flushes and distress caused by hot flushes with at least 50% in women and men with hot flushes and a cancer disease and also improved HRQoL and sleep at least in women. Acupuncture should be further evaluated in these patient groups and could be a treatment alternative in patients with troublesome symptoms.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2011. 110 p.
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 1245
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-68806 (URN)978-91-7393-180-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-06-10, Berzeliussalen, Hälsouniversitetet, Campus US, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2011-06-07 Created: 2011-06-07 Last updated: 2011-06-07Bibliographically approved

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Hammar, MatsFrisk, JessicaGrimsås, ÖHöök, MSpetz, Anna-ClaraWyon, Yvonne
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Faculty of Health SciencesObstetrics and gynecologyDepartment of Surgery in ÖstergötlandDepartment of health and environment
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