American researchers have shown that acupuncture produces significant improvements in symptoms and quality of life scores, for patients with advanced breast and ovarian cancer. In a pilot trial, forty patients were given 12 acupuncture treatments over eight weeks, with follow-up assessment one week and four weeks after the end of the trial.
Across the 32 patients who were fully assessed at the end, there was self-reported improvement immediately after treatment, in anxiety, fatigue, pain and depression. There was also significant improvement over time in anxiety and depression. Quality of life scores of pain, life satisfaction, mood states and psychological distress, also improved during treatment, and showed sustained improvement at the four week follow-up.
(Acupuncture as Palliative Therapy for Physical Symptoms and Quality of Life for Advanced Cancer Patients. Integrative Cancer Therapies, 18 May 2010.)