“There are a lot of different ways that we can potentially use these complementary and alternative therapies to help mitigate symptoms in our patients across the realm of urology,” said Sarah P. Psutka, MD.
In this video, Sarah P. Psutka, MD, MS, discusses current and emerging uses for acupuncture in the field of urology. Psutka was interviewed at the 2023 ASCO Annual Meeting, where she presented the abstract, “Phase I/II randomized clinical trial of in-clinic acupuncture prior to BCG in patients with high-risk non-muscle invasive bladder cancer.”1
Psutka is an associate professor of urology at the University of Washington Medical Center.
There are very good data showing that acupuncture, electroacupuncture, and even acupressure therapy have utility in mitigating perioperative nausea and vomiting, improving return of bowel function, and reducing the risk of an ileus. For all of us who are doing abdominal surgery, those are critical end points to be aware of. There's also good data for reduction of pain. And there have been a lot of studies that have looked at utilization of acupuncture during anesthesia and how that reduces postoperative opioid requirements. So this is actually a really active field of study right now, there are numerous phase 2 and phase 3 trials that have looked at how acupuncture, electroacupuncture, and acupressure can intervene with these kind of critical surgical outcomes. And I think it's important for urologists to be aware of those. The data for this trial1 that helped us to develop the acupuncture intervention was derived from the overactive bladder space. Because interestingly, there's also data for patients with overactive bladders that acupuncture can help to reduce urgency and frequency symptoms. So the irritative symptoms that obviously are fairly analogous to what we see in patients undergoing BCG therapy. And of course, that's very much at the heart of the theory behind the development of devices such as PTNS and InterStim. So there's a lot of different ways that we can potentially use these complementary and alternative therapies to help mitigate symptoms in our patients across the realm of urology.
Transcript has been edited for clarity.
1. Psutka SP, Veleber S, Siman J, et al. Phase I/II randomized clinical trial of in-clinic acupuncture prior to BCG in patients with high-risk non-muscle invasive bladder cancer. J Clin Oncol 41, 2023 (suppl 16; abstr 4590). doi: 10.1200/JCO.2023.41.16_suppl.4590