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Acupuncture can attenuate growth of osteosarcoma tumor and regulate gut microbiota in a model

Updated: Nov 17, 2021

One research group treated osteosarcoma tumor-burdened mice by using needling on different acupoints and acupoints combination, thereafter determined the effects of acupuncture on tumor growth by using imaging technology in vitro. In addition, intestinal bacteria were analyzed for further understanding the holistic and systemic treatment effects of acupuncture in osteosarcoma tumor-burdened mice. They found that acupuncture treatment can delay tumor growth and changes of intestinal bacteria in osteosarcoma tumor-burdened mice. In detail, the loss of body weight and the development of tumor volume of mice have been postposed by needling specific acupoints. In addition, acupuncture treatment has delayed the changes of the relative abundance of Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes and Candidatus Saccharibacteria at the phylum level. Moreover, the relative abundance of many bacteria (e.g., Catabacter, Acetatifactor and Aestuariispira) has been regulated by using acupuncture treatment, and the trend of structural changes of these bacteria at the genus level has also been postposed compared to that of the tumor-burdened mice model group. Their results suggest that acupuncture may provide a systemic treatment for cancer.

Fig. 1.  Body weight and tumor size of the mice. a Bioluminescence image of mice by using acupuncture treatment. b The body weight of control, model and acupoints combination treatment groups. *Indicates model or treatment group versus control group, p < 0.05 (two-tailed, unpaired Student’s t-test). #Indicates model group versus treatment group, p < 0.05 (two-tailed, unpaired Student’s t-test). c Tumor volumes of mice in the model and treatment groups. *Indicates treatment group versus model group, p < 0.05 (two-tailed, unpaired Student’s t-test). d Schematic diagram of tumor size of mice in the model and treatment groups after the acupuncture treatment procedure. 

Xu et al. Chin Med (2020) 15:33


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