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The Safe and Effective Use of Acupuncture for the Treatment of Radiation-Induced Side Effects

Course Details

MDCB Credits: 1.00

ARRT Credits: 1.00

Available Until: 7/31/2020

Non-Member Price: $35.00

Member Price: $20.00

Member PLUS Price: $20.00

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Presented by Douglas McDaniel, DACM, Dipl. Ac., (NCCAOM), L.Ac
Assistant Professor of Oncology and Integrative Medicine Program Manager
Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center

Recorded June 25, 2019
From the AAMD Spring 2019 Regional Meeting

Cancer patients often experience debilitating side effects during and after their treatment. While conventional treatments exist to address these symptoms most are inadequate or have their own unwanted side effects. As a result, many patients turn to complementary and alternative medicine modalities, including acupuncture, to reduce side effects, increase tolerance and efficacy of their treatment and support their immune system. Acupuncture is the insertion of very thin needles into specific points that correspond to various organ systems and body processes. Supporting and maintaining these interactions offers a protective mechanism that may prevent or lessen unwanted side effects, allowing the patient to be more resilient and able to receive maximum benefit without interruption or unresolved complications after their treatment has finished. Cancer patients may be treated with radiation as a primary therapy, in conjunction with chemotherapy or secondary to surgery. Those treated with radiation therapy (RT) often experience serious and difficult to treat side effects that begin shortly after initiation of treatment and linger long after treatment has finished, negatively impacting quality of life and overall future health. Common side effects include xerostomia, reduced saliva production, dysphagia, nausea, emesis, and fatigue. The severity and type of side effect experienced is influenced by radiation field, dose, and length of treatment. Studies to evaluate the effectiveness of acupuncture to prevent or alleviate these symptoms have been conducted. Results have been mixed. However, increasing evidence exists that acupuncture may provide a safe, effective and longer lasting alternative to conventional treatments for RT related side effects.

Learner Outcomes: 

  1. Understand how acupuncture may help to prevent & treat common side effects related to RT
  2. Review the existing evidence to support the inclusion of acupuncture in treatment planning for RT
  3. Explore how acupuncture may be safely and effectively incorporated into treatment planning for RT patients


Douglas McDaniel, DACM, Dipl. Ac., (NCCAOM), L.Ac. is an Assistant Professor of Oncology in the Department of Cancer Prevention and Control and the Integrative Medicine Program Manager at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo, NY. Prior to joining Roswell Park in March 2017, Dr. McDaniel was the senior acupuncturist for the Integrative Therapies Program at Columbia University Medical Center, New York. Dr. McDaniel is a former faculty member of Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in New York, where he also served as Director of Health Services; Mercy College Graduate Program in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, where he also served as the Associate Program and Acting Program Director and Finger Lakes School of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, where he also served as Clinic Director. Dr. McDaniel has contributed to the development of clinical training programs and delivery of integrative patient care in several hospitals affiliated with AOM programs including Sound Shore Medical Center in New Rochelle, NY; Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY and the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Canandaigua, NY. He is actively engaged in research activities relating to the use of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and other integrative therapies with cancer patients and has been published in Pediatric Blood & Cancer, Meridians: The Journal of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, Medical Acupuncture, The Journal of the National Academy of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, The Protocol Journal of Botanical Medicine, Journal of the Acupuncture Society of New York and Oriental Medicine. Dr. McDaniel has presented research at the Society for Integrative Oncology (SIO), the Society for Acupuncture Research (SAR) and the International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP). He frequently lectures on the safe and effective use of acupuncture and other integrative modalities with cancer patients.