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BMC Cancer. 2010 Apr 7;10:130. doi: 10.1186/1471-2407-10-130.

Moxibustion for cancer care: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Author information

1
Division of Standard Research, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, Daejeon, South Korea. drmslee@gmail.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Moxibustion is a traditional Chinese method that uses the heat generated by burning herbal preparations containing Artemisia vulgaris to stimulate acupuncture points. Considering moxibustion is closely related to acupuncture, it seems pertinent to evaluate the effectiveness of moxibustion as a treatment of symptoms of cancer. The objective of this review was to systematically assess the effectiveness of moxibustion for supportive cancer care.

METHODS:

We searched the literature using 11 databases from their inceptions to February 2010, without language restrictions. We included randomised clinical trials (RCTs) in which moxibustion was employed as an adjuvant treatment for conventional medicine in patients with any type of cancer. The selection of studies, data extraction, and validations were performed independently by two reviewers.

RESULTS:

Five RCTs compared the effects of moxibustion with conventional therapy. Four RCTs failed to show favourable effects of moxibustion for response rate compared with chemotherapy (n = 229, RR, 1.04, 95% CI 0.94 to 1.15, P = 0.43). Two RCTs assessed the occurrence of side effects of chemotherapy and showed favourable effects of moxibustion. A meta-analysis showed significant less frequency of nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy for moxibustion group (n = 80, RR, 0.38, 95% CIs 0.22 to 0.65, P = 0.0005, heterogeneity: chi2 = 0.18, P = 0.67, I2 = 0%).

CONCLUSION:

The evidence is limited to suggest moxibustion is an effective supportive cancer care in nausea and vomiting. However, all studies have a high risk of bias so effectively there is not enough evidence to draw any conclusion. Further research is required to investigate whether there are specific benefits of moxibustion for supportive cancer care.

PMID:
20374659
PMCID:
PMC2873382
DOI:
10.1186/1471-2407-10-130
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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