Grant R21CA173263

Acupuncture to Prevent Chemotherapy Dose Reduction

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): One of the most harmful side effects of chemotherapy is chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN), a common, disabling and dose-limiting side effect of many chemotherapy agents for which there is no effective treatment. A small reduction in dose intensity can cause a significant decrease in relapse-free survival and overall survival. Our preliminary data showed that acupuncture significantly reduced CIPN neurotoxicity symptoms, improved nerve conduction study, and prevented chemotherapy dose reduction due to CIPN. Our central hypothesis is that acupuncture can prevent worsening of CIPN and improve tolerance of chemotherapy in breast and colorectal cancer patients receiving neurotoxin chemotherapy through increasing NGF. Our goal is to determine the effectiveness of acupuncture in reducing CIPN symptoms and preventing chemotherapy dose reduction caused by CIPN in breast and colorectal cancer patients in the neoadjuvant and adjuvant settings. We will conduct a pilot, 60- patient, randomized, placebo-controlled trial to 1) determine the effect f acupuncture on chemotherapy dose reduction, 2) determine the effect of acupuncture on prevent worsening of CIPN, and 3) identify one of the mechanisms of acupuncture in treating CIPN. Our proposed study will integrate acupuncture into oncology practice to improve to improve patients'tolerance of standard chemotherapy. Our study has the potential to identify an effective non-pharmacological treatment for CIPN and to improve cancer patients'tolerance of standard chemotherapy schedule and subsequently improve their relapse-free survival and overall survival.