To explore the adjunctive therapeutic effects of acupuncture for leukopenia induced by chemotherapy. METHODS Eighty-six cases with leukopenia after chemotherapy treatment were randomly divided into a granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) plus acupuncture (A) group and a G-CSF group, 43 cases in each group. After chemotherapy treatments, the patients of both groups were treated with G-CSF for 4 times, with acupuncture at Zhigou (TE 6), Quchi (LI 11), Hegu (LI 4), etc. added in the G-CSF plus A group, for an observation cycle of 45 days. Their therapeutic effects on the 10th and 31st day and peripheral white blood cell (WBC) counts and neutrophilic granulocyte classification on the 10th, 17th, 24th, 45th day after treatment were compared.
After they were treated on the 10th day, the effective rates were both 100.0% (both 43/43), and on the 31st day, the effective rate of 98.9% (42/43) in the G-CSF plus A group was higher than 91.1% (35/43) in the G-CSF group (P < 0.05). The WBC counts in the G-CSF plus acupuncture group was both higher than those in the G-CSF group on the 10th, 17th and 24th day after treatment (all P < 0.05). The ratios of mature neutrophilic granulocyte in the G-CSF plus A group were all higher than those in the G-CSF group at the same time (all P < 0.01).
Acupuncture can increase the therapeutic effect of G-CSF, delay the decrease of WBC after discontinuing G-CSF, promote the neutrophilic granulocyte differentiating forward to mature and it is better for improving leukopenia induced by chemotherapy.