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Clinical Trials (PDQ®)

Acupuncture in Treating Dry Mouth Caused By Radiation Therapy in Patients With Head and Neck Cancer

Basic Trial Information
Trial Description
     Further Trial Information
     Eligibility Criteria
Trial Contact Information

Basic Trial Information

PhaseTypeStatusAgeSponsorProtocol IDs
Phase IIISupportive careActiveNot specifiedNCI, Other2010-0547 MDA
MDA-04-01, CDR0000674208, 2010-0547, NCI-2011-02073, NCT01141231

Trial Description


RATIONALE: Acupuncture may help relieve dry mouth caused by radiation therapy.

PURPOSE: This randomized phase III trial is studying to see how well one set of acupuncture points work in comparison to a different set of acupuncture points or standard therapy in treating dry mouth caused by radiation therapy in patients with head and neck cancer.

Further Study Information



  • To determine whether acupuncture can symptomatically improve moderate or severe radiation-induced xerostomia (grade 2 or 3) in patients with head and neck cancer.


  • To explore the duration of response (up to a maximum of 6 months) in the subgroup of patients who report a response to the acupuncture intervention.

OUTLINE: This is a multicenter study. Patients are stratified according to stage of disease, age, sex, the mean of parotid radiotherapy doses received, and baseline Xerostomia Questionnaire (XQ) scores. Patients are randomized to 1 of 3 treatment arms.

  • Arm I: Patients receive standard oral hygiene care for 8 weeks, including instructions regarding mouth rinses, use of lip balms, use of mild fluoride toothpaste, the importance of adequate oral hydration, and other standard advice.
  • Arm II: Patients receive acupuncture at 3 sites on each ear, on the chin, on each forearm, and on each leg twice a week for 4 weeks. Patients with minor response may continue treatment for an additional 4 weeks. Patients also receive standard oral hygiene as in arm 1.
  • Arm III: Patients receive acupuncture twice a week for 4 weeks and standard oral hygiene as in arm 1. Patients with minor response may continue treatment for an additional 4 weeks.

Patients complete XQ, the M. D. Anderson Symptom Inventory for Head and Neck Cancer (MDASI-HN), and the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy (FACT-G) questionnaires at baseline and at the end of weeks 4, 8, and12. Patients with partial response or minor response, according to week-8 questionnaires, complete XQ, MDASI-HN, and the FACT-G at the end of week 12 and at 6 months. Patients in group 2 and 3 also complete the Acupuncture Expectancy Scale (AES). Saliva is also collected at these time points.

  • Coordinating Center: The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP) Research Base

Eligibility Criteria


  • Diagnosis of head and neck cancer
  • Xerostomia grade 2 or 3 due to prior bilateral radiotherapy
  • Acupuncture naive


  • No prior xerostomia
  • No infection at or near the acupuncture sites OR active infection
  • Ability to speak, read, and understand English


  • See Disease Characteristics
  • At least 9 months since prior radiotherapy
  • Chemotherapy during or after radiotherapy allowed
  • No concurrent or plan to receive another xerostomia treatment agent
  • At least 14 days since prior agents known to treat xerostomia

Trial Contact Information

Trial Lead Organizations/Sponsors

M. D. Anderson Cancer Center at University of Texas

National Cancer Institute

Lorenzo CohenStudy Chair

Mark S. ChambersStudy Chair

Trial Sites

 CCOP Research Base Sites
 MD Anderson Cancer Center CCOP Office Ph: 713-563-0276
 Joseph Chiang, MDPrincipal Investigator

Link to the current record.
NLM Identifer NCT01141231 processed this data on September 18, 2014

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

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