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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2014, Article ID 217397, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/217397
Research Article

Effects of Acupuncture on Leucopenia, Neutropenia, NK, and B Cells in Cancer Patients: A Randomized Pilot Study

1Instituto Ciências Biomédicas Abel Salazar, Universidade do Porto, Rua de Jorge Viterbo Ferreira No. 228, 4050-313 Porto, Portugal
2Service of Emergency, Internal Medicine, Hospital Center of S. João, Oporto, Portugal
3Service of Oncology, Hospital Center of S. João, Oporto, Portugal
4Service of Clinical Pathology, Hospital Center of S. João, Oporto, Portugal
5ISPUP-EPI Unit, Institute of Public Health, University of Oporto, Portugal
6Service of Clinical Pathology, Porto Hospital Center, Oporto, Portugal
7Department of Oncology, Hospital Center of Vila Nova de Gaia/Espinho, Portugal
8Oporto Biomechanics Laboratory, Portugal
9Department of Pharmaceutical Biology, Institute of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, Johannes Gutenberg University, Germany
10Heidelberg School of Chinese Medicine, Germany

Received 3 March 2014; Revised 1 June 2014; Accepted 3 June 2014; Published 24 July 2014

Academic Editor: Nobuo Yamaguchi

Copyright © 2014 Irene Pais 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

Chemotherapy is one of most significant therapeutic approaches to cancer. Immune system functional state is considered a major prognostic and predictive impact on the success of chemotherapy and it has an important role on patients’ psychoemotional state and quality of life. In Chinese medicine, chemotherapy is understood as “toxic cold” that may induce a progressive hypofunctional state of immune system, thus compromising the fast recovery of immunity during chemotherapy. In this study, we performed a standardized acupuncture and moxibustion protocol to enhance immunity in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and to assess if the improvement of immunity status correlates with a better psychoemotional state and quality of life.