Acupuncture practice, past and present: is it safe and effective?

J Soc Integr Oncol. 2006 Winter;4(1):13-5.


Acupuncture is a widely used complementary therapy. In cancer treatment its primary use is in treating cancer-related symptoms and side effects induced by conventional therapy. However, the safety of acupuncture practice is often a concern among patients and physicians. A systematic review suggests that acupuncture performed by trained practitioners using clean needle techniques is a generally safe procedure. The medical literature also indicates that acupuncture may be used successfully on cancer patients for symptom management. However, basic scientific studies on the mechanisms of acupuncture and well-designed randomized clinical trials that permit objective evaluation of this ancient science are urgently needed.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Therapy / adverse effects*
  • Acupuncture Therapy / trends*
  • Complementary Therapies
  • Humans
  • Treatment Outcome