ENHANCE: A Study Testing the Effect of Acupuncture on Cancer-Related Cognitive Difficulties among Breast Cancer Survivors


Full Title

Effect and Mechanism of Acupuncture for Cancer-related Cognitive Difficulties (ENHANCE)


The purpose of this study is to see if acupuncture can improve cognitive difficulties and insomnia in survivors of breast cancer. Acupuncture is a medical technique that involves the insertion of very thin needles into specific areas of the body, with the goal of promoting health and well-being. It has been widely used to treat pain, but researchers think acupuncture can also improve the cognitive difficulties and insomnia that many cancer survivors report after chemotherapy and other cancer treatments. There is also some evidence that fixing sleep problems can improve some cognitive functions, such as memory and concentration. This study should provide researchers with useful information about acupuncture’s effects on both cognitive function and insomnia. The study may also give researchers better insight into the connection between insomnia and cognitive difficulties.

Participants in this study will be randomly assigned to receive either real acupuncture or placebo acupuncture therapy weekly for 10 weeks, or “wait-list” acupuncture (real acupuncture that happens after a 26-week period of waiting). Regardless of group placement, patients will be asked to complete assessments over the course of 26 weeks during the study. All participants will also continue to receive the standard care prescribed by their physicians.

Who Can Join

To be eligible for this study, patients must meet several criteria, including but not limited to the following:

  • Patients must be adult women with a history of stage 0, I, II, or III breast cancer, and currently be free of cancer.
  • Patients must experience moderate or greater cancer-related cognitive difficulties.
  • Patients must report that cognitive functions have worsened since their cancer diagnosis.
  • Patients should report insomnia symptoms.
  • Patients must be willing to adhere to all study-related procedures, including being assigned to one of the three possible choices: acupuncture, placebo acupuncture, or wait-list control.

For more information about this study and to inquire about eligibility, please contact the Clinical Research Coordinator at 646-449-1032 or email [email protected].




Phase II (phase 2)

Disease Status

Newly Diagnosed