Principal Investigator

Chao Hsing
Awardee Organization

University Of Texas Hlth Sci Ctr Houston
United States

Fiscal Year
Activity Code
Early Stage Investigator Grants (ESI)
Not Applicable
Project End Date

Auricular Point Acupressure to Manage Chemotherapy Induced Neuropathy

More than 60% cancer patients experience chemotherapy-induced neuropathy (CIN), a severe side effect of chemotherapy (including platinum drugs, vinca alkaloids, taxanes and/or bortezomib). CIN may cause treatment delays, dose reductions, or discontinuation of therapy which can affect survival rates. With improved cancer treatments and longer survival, the late effects of CIN continue to produce a significant burden in up to 50% of cancer survivors who are suffering from CIN 6 years after treatment, with a 1.8-fold increased risk of falls. CIN continues to cause significant functional disability, negatively impacts quality of life, and significantly demands high health care costs and resource use. We propose to test auricular point acupressure (APA)—a non-invasive and nonpharmacological patient managed strategy—as an innovative solution for CIN. APA is developed from auricular acupuncture, which is an invasive (using needles) and passive treatment (administered by a licensed practitioner). APA is a non-invasive and active treatment for patients with pain. It involves needleless acupuncture-like stimulation of ear points. Small seeds are taped on specific ear points by a skilled provider and patients press on the seeds to stimulate ear points three times daily, three minutes per time, for a total of nine minutes per day to achieve pain relief. APA provides pain relief within 1–2 minutes after ear stimulation and sustains pain relief for one month after a 4-week APA intervention. APA is popular in Taiwan, China, and Europe. Though its use is sparse in the U.S., a limited number of clinical trials have supported APA in pain management. This study will provide vital information to gain a comprehensive understanding of underlying mechanism of APA on CIN and provide strong impetus for including APA as part of CIN management in clinical settings.


  • Kawi J, Yeh CH, Li M, Caswell Bs K, Mazraani Md M, Lukkahatai PhD Rn N, Mensah Rn S, Taylor J, Budhathoki C, Christo P. Auricular Point Acupressure Smartphone Application to Manage Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain: A Longitudinal, One-Group, Open Pilot Trial. Global advances in health and medicine. 2021 Jan 22;10:2164956120987531. doi: 10.1177/2164956120987531. eCollection 2021. PMID: 33623727