Using Traditional Acupuncture in the Management of Cancer Treatment Related Lymphoedema

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Basic Trial Information

PhaseTypeStatusAgeSponsorProtocol IDs
No phase specifiedSupportive careCompleted18 and overOtherCDR0000632850
LJMC-AMWELL-SL, EU-20903, NCT00828516

Trial Description


RATIONALE: Acupuncture and moxibustion may improve well-being and quality of life in patients with lymphedema caused by breast cancer or head, neck, and throat cancer.

PURPOSE: This clinical trial is studying how well acupuncture given together with moxibustion works in improving well-being and quality of life in patients with breast cancer or head, neck, and throat cancer who are undergoing standard treatment for lymphedema.

Further Study Information


  • To test the acupuncture and moxibustion treatment strategies to obtain a first measure of response for the approach(es) used in patients with breast cancer or head, neck, and throat cancer undergoing standard treatment for secondary lymphedema.
  • To assess whether this treatment is an acceptable intervention to cancer patients with secondary lymphedema and to their health care professionals.
  • To disseminate the data to begin to build the evidence base for using this treatment in the management of lymphedema.

OUTLINE: Patients undergo acupuncture and moxibustion therapy once weekly for 7 treatment (Series 1). After completion of therapy, patients may choose to continue treatment for an additional 6 treatments (Series 2).

Patients complete a set of 4 questionnaires (i.e., sociodemographic, Short-Form-36, Positive and Negative Affect Scale (PANAS), and Measure Yourself Medical Outcome Profile (MYMOP)) at the first treatment and then periodically during study. Patients also complete a series of follow-up questionnaires designed to elicit feedback about their acupuncture experience.

After completion of study treatment, patients are followed at 1 and 3 months.

Eligibility Criteria


  • male or female patients with either breast or head and neck cancer
  • diagnosis of mild to moderate uncomplicated lymphoedema
  • age 18 or over
  • under the care of the lymphoedema service for at leas:
  • two months (head and neck cancer patients)
  • three months (breast cancer patients)
  • no active cancer disease
  • at least 3 months since prior active cancer treatment (surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, intravenous treatment)
  • more than 6 months since prior acupuncture treatment
  • concurrent adjuvant hormonal therapy allowed
  • concurrent anti-depressant medication allowed provided there has been no change in prescription or dosing within the past 3 months and patient intends to remain on the medication for the duration of study treatment and follow-up
  • Able to understand and communicate in English
  • Able to travel to the Lynda Jackson Macmillan Centre for treatment
  • Able to attend treatment once weekly for at least 7 consecutive weeks
  • Able to complete outcome measures


  • bilateral breast cancer
  • advanced cancer disease

Trial Contact Information

Trial Lead Organizations/Sponsors

Lister Hospital

  • Mount Vernon Cancer Centre at Mount Vernon Hospital
  • International Lymphoedema Framework
  • Lymphoedema Support Network
  • University of Exeter
Beverley de Valois, PhD LicAc, Principal Investigator

Link to the current record.
NLM Identifier NCT00828516 processed this data on April 09, 2015

Note: Information about this trial is from the database. The versions designated for health professionals and patients contain the same text. Minor changes may be made to the record to standardize the names of study sponsors, sites, and contacts. only lists sites that are recruiting patients for active trials, whereas lists all sites for all trials. Questions and comments regarding the presented information should be directed to