Acupuncture for Post-Thoracotomy Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Acupuncture is the insertion of very fine needles into the skin to treat symptoms. In
recent years, researchers have come to understand how acupuncture might work in terms of
nerve stimulation and the release of chemical messages in the body. Researchers have found
evidence that acupuncture is useful in treating a variety of conditions, including headache,
nausea, and pain after surgery.
Pain is a common problem after surgery for lung cancer. Many patients experience pain in the
first few days after surgery, despite medication. In some patients, this pain can last for
many months or years afterwards.
A pilot study of acupuncture in patients undergoing lung cancer surgery was conducted
previously and found that this study was feasible to implement and well-received by
patients. We now wish to conduct a larger study in order to determine the effects of
acupuncture on pain in patients undergoing surgery for lung cancer.
- To determine whether acupuncture versus placebo acupuncture after thoracotomy reduces
pain or analgesic use
- To determine whether acupuncture affects the immediate post-operative period and/or 30,
60,90 days and approximately 12 months later.
Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Single Blind (Subject), Primary Purpose: Treatment
To determine whether acupuncture versus placebo acupuncture after thoracotomy reduces pain or analgesic use
Barrie Cassileth, PhD
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
United States: Institutional Review Board
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