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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2014, Article ID 170396, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/170396
Review Article

Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Cancer Pain: An Overview of Systematic Reviews

1Department of Oncology, Guang’anmen Hospital, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beixiange 5, Xicheng District, Beijing 100053, China
2Institute of Chinese Materia Medica, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Nanxiaojie, Dongzhimennei Avenue, Beijing 100700, China
3Department of Nephrology, Guang’anmen Hospital, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beixiange 5, Xicheng District, Beijing 100053, China

Received 30 November 2013; Revised 25 February 2014; Accepted 7 March 2014; Published 13 April 2014

Academic Editor: Ke Ren

Copyright © 2014 Yanju Bao et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Background and Objective. Now with more and more published systematic reviews of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) on adult cancer pain, it is necessary to use the methods of overview of systematic review to summarize available evidence, appraise the evidence level, and give suggestions to future research and practice. Methods. A comprehensive search (the Cochrane Library, PubMed, Embase, and ISI Web of Knowledge) was conducted to identify all systematic reviews or meta-analyses of CAM on adult cancer pain. And the evidence levels were evaluated using GRADE approach. Results. 27 systematic reviews were included. Based on available evidence, we could find that psychoeducational interventions, music interventions, acupuncture plus drug therapy, Chinese herbal medicine plus cancer therapy, compound kushen injection, reflexology, lycopene, TENS, qigong, cupping, cannabis, Reiki, homeopathy (Traumeel), and creative arts therapies might have beneficial effects on adult cancer pain. No benefits were found for acupuncture (versus drug therapy or shame acupuncture), and the results were inconsistent for massage therapy, transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation (TENS), and Viscum album L plus cancer treatment. However, the evidence levels for these interventions were low or moderate due to high risk of bias and/or small sample size of primary studies. Conclusion. CAM may be beneficial for alleviating cancer pain, but the evidence levels were found to be low or moderate. Future large and rigor randomized controlled studies are needed to confirm the benefits of CAM on adult cancer pain.