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Laser acupuncture attenuates oxaliplatin-induced peripheral neuropathy in patients with gastrointestinal cancer: a pilot prospective cohort study
  1. Yueh-Ling Hsieh1,
  2. Li-Wei Chou2,3,
  3. Shao-Fu Hong1,4,
  4. Fei-Chi Chang5,
  5. Szu-Wen Tseng6,
  6. Chi-Chou Huang7,8,
  7. Ching-Hsiang Yang1,
  8. Chen-Chia Yang9,
  9. Wei-Feng Chiu9
  1. 1Department of Physical Therapy, Graduate Institute of Rehabilitation Science, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan
  2. 2Graduate Institute of Acupuncture Science, College of Chinese Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan
  3. 3Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan
  4. 4Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Chung Shan Medical University Hospital Chung Shing Branch, Taichung, Taiwan
  5. 5Nursing Department, Chung Shan Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan
  6. 6Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Medical Oncology, Chung Shan Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan
  7. 7School of Medicine, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan
  8. 8Department of Surgery, Division of Colon and Rectum, Chung Shan Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan
  9. 9Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Cheng Ching General Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan
  1. Correspondence to Dr Wei-Feng Chiu, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Cheng Ching General Hospital, Taichung 40407, Taiwan; chengchingchiu{at}


Background Oxaliplatin is a platinum compound that is widely used in the treatment of some solid tumours. Oxaliplatin-induced peripheral neuropathy (OIPN) in the upper and lower extremities is the major adverse side effect and represents the main dose-limiting factor of this drug. The aim of this single-arm study was to evaluate the feasibility and effects of laser acupuncture (LA) in the treatment of OIPN in patients with advanced gastrointestinal cancers.

Methods 17 gastrointestinal cancer survivors (14 colorectal and 3 gastric cancers), who had been treated with oxaliplatin-based chemotherapies, were recruited. Low-level laser stimulation (50 mW) bilaterally at PC6, PC7, PC8, P9, LU11, SP6, KI3, BL60, KI1, and KI2 was administered for 20 min/point for 12 sessions over 4 weeks. The pain quality assessment scale (PQAS), chemotherapy-induced neurotoxicity questionnaire (CINQ), oxaliplatin-specific neurotoxicity scale (OSNS), quantitative touch-detection threshold (using von Frey filaments), and cold-triggered pain withdrawal latency (using the cold-water immersion test) were measured before and after completion of the 12 treatment sessions.

Results PQAS, CINQ, and OSNS scores, as well as touch-detection threshold and cold-trigger pain withdrawal latency all improved significantly after LA in the cancer patients with OIPN (p<0.05). LA significantly relieved both oxaliplatin-induced cold and mechanical allodynia and also decreased the incidence and severity of neurotoxicity symptoms in the patients' upper and lower extremities and impact on their daily activities (all p<0.05).

Conclusions Following treatment with LA, neurotoxicity symptoms were significantly improved in cancer patients with OIPN. Further randomised controlled trials are needed to evaluate the role of LA as a therapeutic option in the management of OIPN.


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  • Contributors All authors contributed to the study's conception/design, data collection, data analysis and interpretation, were involved in drafting and revising the manuscript, approved the final version of the manuscript for publication, and accept responsibility for the accuracy and integrity of all aspects of the research. Y-LH, C-CY and W-FC are the grant holders.

  • Funding The study was funded by grants from the Ministry of Science and Technology [NSC101-2314-B-039-003-MY2] and Cheng Ching General Hospital [CH10500197] in Taiwan.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval The protocol for this study was approved by the ethical review committee of China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan (reference no. DMR100-IRB-288).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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