Efficacy of saam acupuncture treatment on improvement of immune cell numbers in cancer patients: a pilot study.
J Tradit Chin Med. 2014 Oct ;34(5):550-4. PMID: 25417404
OBJECTIVE: To collect preliminary data on the effects of Saam acupuncture with regard to the immunity in cancer patients.
METHODS: Ten cancer patients were analyzed for improvements in immunity. Acupuncture was applied at the 5 acupuncture points, Jingqu (LU 8), Zutonggu (BL 66), Yanggu (SI 5), Yangchi (TE 4), and Zhongwan (CV 12) for 2 weeks with 4 sessions. We assessed the effect of Korean Saam acupuncture on the immune system in cancer patients by measuring particular blood cell subsets, including CD3+, CD4+, CD8+, CD19+, and CD56+ cells, as well as total white blood cell count, absolute neutrophil count, and fatigue score. The measurement was performed before and after acupuncture and at a 2-week follow-up.
RESULTS: There was a statistically significant increase in the number of CD3+ (P = 0.023) and CD8+ cells (P<0.001) and T-cell subsets, as well as a decrease in the fatigue severity scale (FSS) score (P = 0.001) after Saam acupuncture using the 5 acupoints.
CONCLUSION: Acupuncture may improve the immune system by increasing the counts of a few immune cells and relieve fatigue in cancer patients by decreasing FSS scores. Although this was a non-controlled study, it constitutes preliminary research investigating the potential effects of Saam acupuncture in increasing the counts of several immune cells in cancer patients.