A recent study found that acupressure might reduce the fatigue in breast cancer survivors. Patients in the study performed the procedure by themselves for a particular period and found very positive results.
The breast cancer survivors slowly overcame the fatigue by using acupressure, a process similar to acupuncture but without needles involved, in comparison to the control group who did not receive or performed any other alternative, as reported by Reuters. The researchers pointed out that currently there are very limited treatments for breast cancer survivors and the standard fatigue they regularly present, the team commented in the paper published in JAMA Oncology.
“This is a low-cost, low-risk and easy to use intervention to help with fatigue in many women who are breast cancer survivors,” commented lead author Suzanna Zick, of the University of Michigan.
For the study, the team divided the 288 women into three groups. One group was told to continue their usual care for the fatigue, which was not much while the other received acupressure that targeted relaxation points. The third group also received acupressure, but this aimed to increase energy.
The women were taught to perform the technique by themselves during at the beginning of the study. According to the paper, they were instructed to apply pressure in a circular motion for three minutes each day, for the course of six weeks.
At the beginning of the study, the women qualified their fatigue symptoms from 1 to 10, the greater score indicating a more significant fatigue. The average score at the beginning was five. By the end, about 66 percent of women in the relaxing acupressure group and about 61 percent of those in the stimulating group scored less than 4, the average qualification.
— U-M Cancer Center (@UMCancerCenter) July 7, 2016
In the control group, only 33 percent experienced a reduction in their fatigue symptoms. Even though the two acupressure techniques outperformed the control group regarding scores over fatigue, the relaxing method improved sleep quality and quality of life more than the stimulating approach.
Surviving breast cancer
The numbers of survivors for the most aggressive forms of breast cancer could have a peek with the new discoveries that researchers have brought to the surface. In a recent study, a combination of two drugs, in addition to chemotherapy, showed positive results in breast cancer patients with the advanced disease. The promising results now have to be part of a phase-3 trial to possible replicate the results and determined if the right news continues, as previously reported by Pulse Headlines.
During a non-traditional medical trial, a total of 72 patients were randomly assigned to receive the veliparib-carboplatin therapy, while another 44 patients were concurrently assigned to a control group, according to the study published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine.
When the chemotherapy sessions in the two groups finished, it was determined that the about 51 percent of the patients with the two drugs had their tumors growth stopped, compared to only 26 percent of those in the control group without them.
Also, Neratinib halted the spread of cancer by 56 percent in women with HER2-positive, a hormone-receptor-negative type of cancer more aggressive. The results were compared with the control group, who experienced just a 33 percent reduction just with the chemotherapy.
However, the team found that the toxicity of veliparib-carboplatin therapy was greater in the patients using them than those in the control groups, researchers noted in the results. The process utilized in the trial showed, according to the team, that veliparib-carboplatin added to standard therapy resulted in higher rates of positive results rather than the traditional one by itself.
The two drugs were the first ones to come out of the I-SPY clinical trials. A joined effort between multiple organization aimed to streamline drug testing by guiding treatment to those who would benefit from them, better, as reported by UPI.
Those groups include the joined venture between QuantumLeap Healthcare Collaborative, Foundation for the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. National Cancer Institute, 16 leading academic centers and the Safeway Foundation
The original medical trial used genetic information from its patients to steer them to experimental drugs that are most likely to work due to their unique needs, according to study author Dr. Laura Esserman, a director of breast cancer care at the University of California.
— Breast Cancer (@breastcancer) July 4, 2016
An adaptive design was also used, a process in which doctors use initial data from current patients to steer treatment for the next patients in line, Esserman commented. For instance, a patient might be given a different drug in the trial that is working better in women with her particular type of breast cancer, she added.
“The whole idea of the framework is to allow us to be more innovative and thoughtful, and to drive faster to combinations that might make a huge difference in the response to these agents in women who need them most,” Esserman noted.