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BMC Cancer  2010 

Moxibustion for cancer care: a systematic review and meta-analysis

DOI: 10.1186/1471-2407-10-130

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We searched the literature using 11 databases from their inceptions to February 2010, without language restrictions. We included randomised clinical trials (RCTs) in which moxibustion was employed as an adjuvant treatment for conventional medicine in patients with any type of cancer. The selection of studies, data extraction, and validations were performed independently by two reviewers.Five RCTs compared the effects of moxibustion with conventional therapy. Four RCTs failed to show favourable effects of moxibustion for response rate compared with chemotherapy (n = 229, RR, 1.04, 95% CI 0.94 to 1.15, P = 0.43). Two RCTs assessed the occurrence of side effects of chemotherapy and showed favourable effects of moxibustion. A meta-analysis showed significant less frequency of nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy for moxibustion group (n = 80, RR, 0.38, 95% CIs 0.22 to 0.65, P = 0.0005, heterogeneity: χ2 = 0.18, P = 0.67, I2 = 0%).The evidence is limited to suggest moxibustion is an effective supportive cancer care in nausea and vomiting. However, all studies have a high risk of bias so effectively there is not enough evidence to draw any conclusion. Further research is required to investigate whether there are specific benefits of moxibustion for supportive cancer care.Most cancer patients experience multiple symptoms related to either the cancer itself or late treatment effects [1]. The frequently experienced and severe adverse events associated with such treatments lead patients to seek supportive complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) [2]. Most patients use CAM as an adjunct to conventional treatments [3-5]. Acupuncture type interventions are one of the most popular forms of CAM [6]. It is now a widely accepted intervention for the treatment of a variety of conditions [7]. Several reviews claim that acupuncture offers therapeutic benefits for cancer patients [8-10]. Moxibustion is a traditional Chinese method that uses the heat generated by burning herbal prep


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