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      Acupuncture for Paclitaxel-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy: A Review of Clinical and Basic Studies

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          Paclitaxel-induced peripheral neuropathy (PIPN) is a common and intractable side effect of the conventional chemotherapeutic agent paclitaxel. Acupuncture has been reported as an effective alternative therapy in treatment of PIPN in both basic studies and clinical trials. However, there is a lack of comprehensive surveys to summarize the action of acupuncture in management of PIPN. In this review, we briefly demonstrate the basic pathology of PIPN, which includes the activation of ion channels, mitochondrial dysfunction, disruption of axonal transport and also neuro-inflammatory involvement. Meanwhile, we review both the clinical and basic studies as an emphasis to give a general overview of the therapeutic effect of acupuncture against PIPN. Finally, we summarize the current known mechanisms underlying the action of acupuncture against PIPN mainly at peripheral and spinal levels, which include various neurotransmitters, multiple receptors, different types of enzymes and molecules. In conclusion, acupuncture could be considered as a potential alternative therapy in treatment of PIPN, and further clinical and experimental studies are called for in the future.

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          Most cited references 90

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          Prevention and management of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy in survivors of adult cancers: American Society of Clinical Oncology clinical practice guideline.

          To provide evidence-based guidance on the optimum prevention and treatment approaches in the management of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathies (CIPN) in adult cancer survivors. A systematic literature search identified relevant, randomized controlled trials (RCTs) for the treatment of CIPN. Primary outcomes included incidence and severity of neuropathy as measured by neurophysiologic changes, patient-reported outcomes, and quality of life. A total of 48 RCTs met eligibility criteria and comprise the evidentiary basis for the recommendations. Trials tended to be small and heterogeneous, many with insufficient sample sizes to detect clinically important differences in outcomes. Primary outcomes varied across the trials, and in most cases, studies were not directly comparable because of different outcomes, measurements, and instruments used at different time points. The strength of the recommendations is based on the quality, amount, and consistency of the evidence and the balance between benefits and harms. On the basis of the paucity of high-quality, consistent evidence, there are no agents recommended for the prevention of CIPN. With regard to the treatment of existing CIPN, the best available data support a moderate recommendation for treatment with duloxetine. Although the CIPN trials are inconclusive regarding tricyclic antidepressants (such as nortriptyline), gabapentin, and a compounded topical gel containing baclofen, amitriptyline HCL, and ketamine, these agents may be offered on the basis of data supporting their utility in other neuropathic pain conditions given the limited other CIPN treatment options. Further research on these agents is warranted. © 2014 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.
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            Neural mechanism underlying acupuncture analgesia.

             Zhi-Qi Zhao (2008)
            Acupuncture has been accepted to effectively treat chronic pain by inserting needles into the specific "acupuncture points" (acupoints) on the patient's body. During the last decades, our understanding of how the brain processes acupuncture analgesia has undergone considerable development. Acupuncture analgesia is manifested only when the intricate feeling (soreness, numbness, heaviness and distension) of acupuncture in patients occurs following acupuncture manipulation. Manual acupuncture (MA) is the insertion of an acupuncture needle into acupoint followed by the twisting of the needle up and down by hand. In MA, all types of afferent fibers (Abeta, Adelta and C) are activated. In electrical acupuncture (EA), a stimulating current via the inserted needle is delivered to acupoints. Electrical current intense enough to excite Abeta- and part of Adelta-fibers can induce an analgesic effect. Acupuncture signals ascend mainly through the spinal ventrolateral funiculus to the brain. Many brain nuclei composing a complicated network are involved in processing acupuncture analgesia, including the nucleus raphe magnus (NRM), periaqueductal grey (PAG), locus coeruleus, arcuate nucleus (Arc), preoptic area, nucleus submedius, habenular nucleus, accumbens nucleus, caudate nucleus, septal area, amygdale, etc. Acupuncture analgesia is essentially a manifestation of integrative processes at different levels in the CNS between afferent impulses from pain regions and impulses from acupoints. In the last decade, profound studies on neural mechanisms underlying acupuncture analgesia predominately focus on cellular and molecular substrate and functional brain imaging and have developed rapidly. Diverse signal molecules contribute to mediating acupuncture analgesia, such as opioid peptides (mu-, delta- and kappa-receptors), glutamate (NMDA and AMPA/KA receptors), 5-hydroxytryptamine, and cholecystokinin octapeptide. Among these, the opioid peptides and their receptors in Arc-PAG-NRM-spinal dorsal horn pathway play a pivotal role in mediating acupuncture analgesia. The release of opioid peptides evoked by electroacupuncture is frequency-dependent. EA at 2 and 100Hz produces release of enkephalin and dynorphin in the spinal cord, respectively. CCK-8 antagonizes acupuncture analgesia. The individual differences of acupuncture analgesia are associated with inherited genetic factors and the density of CCK receptors. The brain regions associated with acupuncture analgesia identified in animal experiments were confirmed and further explored in the human brain by means of functional imaging. EA analgesia is likely associated with its counter-regulation to spinal glial activation. PTX-sesntive Gi/o protein- and MAP kinase-mediated signal pathways as well as the downstream events NF-kappaB, c-fos and c-jun play important roles in EA analgesia.
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              Paclitaxel (taxol)


                Author and article information

                J Pain Res
                J Pain Res
                Journal of Pain Research
                15 April 2021
                : 14
                : 993-1005
                [1 ]Institute of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences , Beijing, 100700, People’s Republic of China
                [2 ]Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Xiyuan Hospital of China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences , Beijing, 100091, People’s Republic of China
                [3 ]Key Laboratory of Pharmacology of Chinese Materia Medica , Beijing, 100091, People’s Republic of China
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Yu-Xue Zhao; Bing Zhu Institute of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences , No. 16 Dong-zhi-men-nei South Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing, 100700, People’s Republic of ChinaTel +86-10-64089363 Email claricezhao@live.cn; zhubing@mail.cintcm.ac.cn
                © 2021 Zhao et al.

                This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms ( https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php).

                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 6, References: 90, Pages: 13
                Funded by: Beijing Natural Science Foundation, open-funder-registry 10.13039/501100004826;
                Funded by: Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Public Welfare Research Institutes;
                Funded by: National Natural Science Foundation of China Research Grants;
                This work was supported by Beijing Natural Science Foundation (7202141 to Y.-X. Z.), Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Public Welfare Research Institutes (201814009 and ZZ13-YQ-067 to Y.-X. Z.) and National Natural Science Foundation of China Research Grants (81202763 to Y.-X. Z., 81674075 to B.Z.).

                Anesthesiology & Pain management

                paclitaxel, peripheral neuropathy, acupuncture


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