Polarity Therapy for cancer-related fatigue in patients with breast cancer receiving radiation therapy: a randomized controlled pilot study

Integr Cancer Ther. 2011 Mar;10(1):27-37. doi: 10.1177/1534735410397044. Epub 2011 Mar 7.


Background: Cancer-related fatigue (CRF) is the most frequently reported side effect of cancer and its treatment. In previous research, Polarity Therapy (PT), an energy therapy, was shown to reduce CRF in patients receiving radiation. This study reports on a small randomized clinical trial designed to collect preliminary data on the efficacy of PT compared with an active control (massage) and passive control (standard care) for CRF among cancer patients receiving radiation therapy.

Methods: Forty-five women undergoing radiation therapy for breast cancer were randomized to 1 of 3 weekly treatment conditions. Patients received standard clinical care, 3 modified massages, or 3 PT treatments. CRF and health-related quality of life (HRQL) were assessed during baseline and the 3 intervention weeks.

Results: TResults show CRF ratings were reduced after PT. The effect sizes for PT versus modified massage and versus standard care were small when using the primary measure of CRF (Brief Fatigue Inventory) and large when using the secondary measure of CRF (Daily CRF Diaries).The effect size was medium when assessing the benefit of PT on maintaining HRQL compared with standard care with very little difference between the PT and modified massage conditions. Patients' feedback showed that both the modified massage and PT treatments were deemed useful by radiation patients.

Conclusion: The present pilot randomized clinical trial supports previous experimental research showing that PT, a noninvasive and gentle energy therapy, may be effective in controlling CRF. Further confirmatory studies as well as investigations of the possible mechanisms of PT are warranted.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00288795.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / complications*
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Breast Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Complementary Therapies / methods*
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Fatigue / etiology*
  • Fatigue / metabolism
  • Fatigue / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Massage
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Quality of Life

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00288795