The effect of electroacupuncture on osteosarcoma tumor growth and metastasis: Analysis of different treatment regimens

Branden A. Smeester, Mona Al-Gizawiy, Elaine E. O'Brien, Marna E. Ericson, Jennifer L. Triemstra, Alvin J. Beitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Osteosarcoma is the most common malignant bone tumor found in children and adolescents and is associated with many complications including cancer pain and metastasis. While cancer patients often seek complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) approaches to treat cancer pain and fatigue or the side effects of chemotherapy and treatment, there is little known about the effect of acupuncture treatment on tumor growth and metastasis. Here we evaluate the effects of six different electroacupuncture (EA) regimens on osteosarcoma tumor growth and metastasis in both male and female mice. The most significant positive effects were observed when EA was applied to the ST-36 acupoint twice weekly (EA-2X/3) beginning at postimplantation day 3 (PID 3). Twice weekly treatment produced robust reductions in tumor growth. Conversely, when EA was applied twice weekly (EA-2X/7), starting at PID 7, there was a significant increase in tumor growth. We further demonstrate that EA-2X/3 treatment elicits significant reductions in tumor lymphatics, vasculature, and innervation. Lastly, EA-2X/3 treatment produced a marked reduction in pulmonary metastasis, thus providing evidence for EA's potential antimetastatic capabilities. Collectively, EA-2X/3 treatment was found to reduce both bone tumor growth and lung metastasis, which may be mediated in part through reductions in tumor-associated vasculature, lymphatics, and innervation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number387169
JournalEvidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume2013
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013

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