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1.  A Dual-Center Randomized Controlled Double Blind Trial Assessing the Effect of Acupuncture in Reducing Musculoskeletal Symptoms in Breast Cancer Patients Taking Aromatase Inhibitors 
Purpose
Up to 50% of women receiving aromatase inhibitor (AI) complain of AI-associated musculoskeletal symptoms (AIMSS) and 15% discontinue treatment. We conducted a randomized, sham-controlled trial to evaluate whether acupuncture improves AIMSS and to explore potential mechanisms.
Patients and Methods
Postmenopausal women with early stage breast cancer, experiencing AIMSS were randomized to 8 weekly real or sham acupuncture sessions. We evaluated changes in the Health Assessment Questionnaire Disability Index (HAQ-DI) and pain visual analog scale (VAS) following the intervention compared to baseline. Serum estradiol, β-endorphin and proinflammatory cytokine concentrations were measured pre and post-intervention.
Results
We enrolled 51 women, of whom 47 were evaluable, including 23 randomized to real and 24 to sham acupuncture. Baseline characteristics were balanced between groups with the exception of a higher HAQ-DI score in the real acupuncture group (p=0.047). We did not observe a statistically significant difference in reduction of HAQ-DI (p=0.30) or VAS (p=0.31) between the two groups. Following 8 weekly treatments, we observed a statistically significant reduction of IL-17 (p≤0.009) in both groups. No significant modulation was seen in estradiol, β-endorphin, or other proinflammatory cytokine concentrations in either group.
Conclusions
We did not observe a significant difference in AIMSS changes between real and sham acupuncture. As sham acupuncture used in this study may not be equivalent to placebo, further studies with a non-acupuncture arm may be required to establish whether acupuncture is beneficial for the treatment of AIMSS.
doi:10.1007/s10549-013-2427-z
PMCID: PMC3594526  PMID: 23393007
2.  Increased Circulating Level of the Survival Factor GP88 (Progranulin) in the Serum of Breast Cancer Patients When Compared to Healthy Subjects 
Introduction:
GP88 (PC-Cell Derived Growth Factor, progranulin) is a glycoprotein overexpressed in breast tumors and involved in their proliferation and survival. Since GP88 is secreted, an exploratory study was established to compare serum GP88 level between breast cancer patients (BC) and healthy volunteers (HV).
Methods:
An IRB approved prospective study enrolled 189 stage 1–4 BC patients and 18 HV. GP88 serum concentration was determined by immunoassay.
Results:
Serum GP88 level was 28.7 + 5.8 ng/ml in HV and increased to 40.7 + 16.0 ng/ml (P = 0.007) for stage 1–3 and 45.3 + 23.3 ng/ml (P = 0.0007) for stage 4 BC patients. There was no correlation between the GP88 level and BC characteristics such as age, race, tumor grade, ER, PR and HER-2 expression.
Conclusion:
These data suggest that serial testing of serum GP88 levels may have value as a circulating biomarker for detection, monitoring and follow up of BC.
doi:10.4137/BCBCR.S7224
PMCID: PMC3140268  PMID: 21792312
progranulin; GP88; breast cancer; biomarker

Results 1-2 (2)