Background : Tamoxifen is widely used in premenopausal patients with estrogen receptor positive (ER+) breast cancer. Among the side-effects of tamoxifen, hot flashes is a common and challenging one. Previous pilot study suggested the effectiveness of acupuncture for relief of symptoms. This study was performed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of acupuncture for treatment of hot flashes in Korean women breast cancer patients taking tamoxifen as adjuvant endocrine therapy.

Methods : Thirty(30) breast cancer patients taking tamoxifen and reported moderate to severe hot flashes were enrolled from two institutes. Patients were randomly assigned into acupuncture group(n=15) and control group(n=15). The acupuncture group received acupuncture 3 times a week for 4 consecutive weeks, at 5 predefined points(GV 20, M-HN-3, HT 8, KI 10 and LV 2) for 20 ± 5minutes at each session. Control group received no treatment. The score of hot flash visual analogue scale(VAS) and total hot flash score, EORTC QLQ-C30 and QLQ-BR 23 questionnaire were recorded before treatment, once every treatment week and 4 weeks after treatment for both groups.

Results : Acupuncture group showed significantly reduced severity of hot flashes during treatment assessed with either VAS and total hot flash score (p=0.000 and p=0.008, respectively). Also, acupuncture group showed improvement of global health status and physical functioning score assessed with EORTC QLQ-C30 (p=0.004 and p=0.027, respectively). Four weeks after the treatment, these trends were retained. No adverse events were notified

Conclusion : Acupuncture may have feasibility and safety for alleviate hot flashes of Korean women breast cancer patients taking tamoxifen as an adjuvant endocrine therapy. Long-term follow up results and further study with a larger sample size is required.

Citation Format: Choi H, Jeong Y-j, Park S-H, Kwak M-A, Kim K-S, Lee Y, Park S. Efficacy and safety of acupuncture for the hot flashes in breast cancer patients taking adjuvant tamoxifen: A multicenter study in Korean women [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the 2018 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium; 2018 Dec 4-8; San Antonio, TX. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2019;79(4 Suppl):Abstract nr P1-11-16.