The Best of SIO

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The following four abstracts, which describe findings in three clinical studies and one basic science study, were singled out as the top abstracts at this year’s International Conference of the Society for Integrative Oncology.

Self-Administered Acupressure

Zick S, Wyatt G, Murphy S; et al: The effect of two types of self-administered acupressure compared to standard of care on depression and anxiety in fatigued breast cancer survivors. 10th International Conference of the SIO. Abstract 107. Presented October 22, 2013.

This study compared outcomes after 6 weeks of self-administered stimulating acupressure or relaxing acupressure vs standard of care in 89 breast cancer survivors with depression or anxiety. The investigators concluded that self-administered relaxing acupressure produces a greater antidepressive response compared to stimulating acupressure or standard care in this population, and recommended more rigorous studies of these modalities.


Mao JJ, Xie SX, Farrar JT, et al: Electro-acupuncture for aromatase inhibitor related arthralgia and co-morbid symptoms in breast cancer survivors: A randomized placebo-controlled trial. 10th International Conference of the SIO. Abstract 67. Presented October 22, 2013.

In this randomized, placebo-controlled trial, 67 postmenopausal women with breast cancer who attributed their arthralgia to taking aromatase inhibitors were assigned to 10 treatments of tailored acupuncture with 2 Hz electrostimulation via a TENS unit, a wait-list control group, or sham acupuncture with nonpenetrating needles at nontraditional acupuncture points, without electrostimulation. The investigators concluded that electro-acupuncture significantly improved aromatase inhibitor–related arthralgia as well as comorbid fatigue and sleep problems over usual care “with clinically important and durable changes.”

Physical Activity

Garland SN, Speck RM, Palmer C, et al: Association of physical activity and telomere length in breast cancer survivors. 10th International Conference of the SIO. Abstract 53. Presented October 22, 2013.

This study sought to clarify the link between physical activity and telomere length in 392 postmenopausal women with stage 0 to III breast cancer. A questionnaire was used to categorize physical activity (as none vs moderate to vigorous) and a blood sample was taken to determine telomere length. The investigators concluded, “Lack of physical activity is associated with shortened telomere length, warranting prospective investigation of the potential role of physical activity on cellular aging in breast cancer survivors.”


Miller SC, Durairaj P: Tumor resistance, immuno-enhancement and life span increase mediated by an extract of North American ginseng. 10th International Conference of the SIO. Abstract 20. Presented October 22, 2013.

This controlled animal study tested immunoenhancement with dietary CVT-E002, a proprietary extract from North American ginseng, for 11 months in elderly mice. The researchers found that the CVT-E002 had a profound effect on tumor resistance, significantly increased the numbers of immune cells, and prolonged life.

The Best of SIO abstracts are available at