The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Acupunture for hot flashes in men with prostate cancer

    Hot flashes are a common side effect of androgen ablation therapy — a well-established treatment for various stages of prostate cancer.

    Researchers at Weill Medical College of Cornell University, in Brooklyn, New York, report positive effects with acupuncture.

    First, the details.

    • 17 men with hot flashes and a history of androgen ablation therapy for prostate cancer were studied.
    • A hot flash score was used to measure daily hot flashes.
    • A daily score was calculated by multiplying frequency times severity.
    • Daily scores before acupuncture were compared with scores at 2 and 6 weeks and at 8-months.

    And, the results.

    • The average initial hot flash score was 28, which dropped to…
      • 10 at 2 weeks after treatment
      • 8 at 6 weeks
      • 7 at 8 months — significant improvements.
    • Improvement at Weeks 2 and 6 was 68% and 89%, respectively — significant improvement.
    • Improvement at 8 months was 80% — also significant.
    • No side effects were encountered during, immediately after treatment, or at 8 months.

    The bottom line?

    The authors concluded, “Acupuncture provides excellent control of hot flashes in men with a history of androgen ablation therapy. The absence of side effects and the durable response at 8 months are likely to be appealing to patients.”

    Researchers at Oregon Health and Science University, in Portland conducted a similar study and reported a positive response to acupuncture. In addition, “A reduced hot flash score was associated with improvement in the hot flash-related quality of life and sleep quality.”

    7/8/10 21:04 JR

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