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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 191347, 8 pages
Review Article

Current Studies of Acupuncture in Cancer-Induced Bone Pain Animal Models

Department of Acupuncture & Moxibustion, Kyung Hee University Hospital at Gangdong, 149 Sangil-dong, Gangdong-gu, Seoul 134-727, Republic of Korea

Received 18 June 2014; Revised 22 August 2014; Accepted 28 August 2014; Published 14 October 2014

Academic Editor: Lixing Lao

Copyright © 2014 Hee Kyoung Ryu 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.


Acupuncture is generally accepted as a safe and harmless treatment option for alleviating pain. To explore the pain mechanism, numerous animal models have been developed to simulate specific human pain conditions, including cancer-induced bone pain (CIBP). In this study, we analyzed the current research methodology of acupuncture for the treatment of CIBP. We electronically searched the PubMed database for animal studies published from 2000 onward using these search terms: (bone cancer OR cancer) AND (pain OR analgesia) AND (acupuncture OR pharmacopuncture OR bee venom). We selected articles that described cancer pain in animal models. We analyzed the methods used to induce cancer pain and the outcome measures used to assess the effects of acupuncture on CIBP in animal models. We reviewed articles that met our inclusion criteria. Injection of mammary cancer cells into the cavity of the tibia was the most frequently used method for inducing CIBP in the animal models. Among the eight selected studies, five studies demonstrated the effects of electroacupuncture on CIBP. The effects of acupuncture were assessed by measuring pain-related behavior. Future researches will be needed to ascertain the effectiveness of acupuncture for treating CIBP and to explore the specific mechanism of CIBP in animal models.