Acupuncture for Cancer-Related Anorexia: a Review of the Current Evidence

Wenli Liu, Gabriel Lopez, Santhosshi Narayanan, Aiham Qdaisat, Yimin Geng, Shouhao Zhou, Michael Spano, Susan Underwood, Marie G. Eclache, Rony Dev, Shalini Dalal, Eduardo Bruera, Lorenzo Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: Loss of appetite/anorexia is extremely common among cancer patients, affecting as many as half of newly diagnosed patients and 70% of patients with advanced disease. Effective management of this disabling symptom of cancer remains a major challenge in the field of oncology. We conducted a systematic review of the current evidence on acupuncture and/or moxibustion as an intervention for cancer-related anorexia. Recent Findings: Acupuncture, as a part of traditional Chinese medicine practice, has demonstrated effectiveness in managing many cancer- and treatment-related symptoms, especially chemotherapy-induced or postoperative nausea. However, the efficacy of acupuncture in treating cancer-related anorexia/loss of appetite is not clear. Summary: The current level of evidence is insufficient to make a definitive conclusion on the benefit of acupuncture/moxibustion for treating chronic cancer–related anorexia/appetite problems. Future large randomized controlled trials of high methodological quality are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number82
JournalCurrent oncology reports
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology


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