This is a randomized, placebo controlled study in cancer patients reporting fatigue
persisting for at least two months following completion of chemotherapy. Subjects will
receive 6 weeks of either acupuncture or placebo treatment as a means of evaluating whether
acupuncture reduces chronic fatigue after chemotherapy.
- Patients age 18-64 diagnosed with a malignancy (solid tumor or hematologic
- Patients must have received chemotherapy.
- Patients must complain of fatigue following chemotherapy buy not prior to
- At least 60 days must have elapsed between the last chemotherapy infusion and
completion of the first baseline questionnaire.
- Mean baseline fatigue as measured by the Brief Fatigue Inventory must be four or
- Anemia, defined as Hb<9 or active treatment for anemia. Iron supplementation is
allowed as long as the dose has been stable for at least six weeks.
- Platelets less than 50,000/microliter or an Absolute Neutrophil Count less than
- Baseline depression score on the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale of 11 or
above, indicating clinical depression.
- Thyroid disorder, defined as either thyroid stimulating hormone or free T4 out of
normal range, is excluded as it is a possible cause of fatigue unrelated to cancer
- Surgery under general anesthesia; immunotherapy; radiotherapy; or initiation of
hormonal therapy within the three weeks prior to enrollment.
- Acupuncture in the previous six weeks.
- Change in use of any of the following drugs in the prior three weeks: opiates,
antidepressants (other than selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors
[SSRIs])/anxiolytics; OR change in use of SSRIs in the prior six weeks. "Change in
use" is defined as initiation or cessation of treatment, or change in prescribed dose
or regimen: changes in actual amounts of PRN medication taken are allowed.