The results of a study to investigate how acupuncture could benefit patients suffering from neuropathy as a consequence of chemotherapy, were presented at the National Cancer Research Institute conference in Glasgow by Dr Jacqui Stringer, lead for complementary health and wellbeing at The Christie.

Professor Andrew Wardley was CI for the ACUFOCIN trial, believed to be the largest of its kind ever undertaken in the UK. The clinical team gathered data that indicated acupuncture can improve quality of life for patients with chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy.

The Christie was the sponsor for the randomised phase II trial, which enrolled 120 patients over three years at both the Withington and Oldham sites. Half the cohort were offered weekly hour-long acupuncture sessions over a 10 week period. Patients described and graded their own worst symptoms and then gave an updated grading at key follow-up sessions using a recognised reporting tool. More than twice the number of patients in the acupuncture arm achieved a reduction in symptoms by the end of 10 weeks. Clinicians’ assessment at the end for the study period showed that over half (51%) of the patients who received acupuncture had a drop in symptom severity suggesting the neuropathy no longer impacted on motor function.