A Study to Assess the Use of Acupuncture to Manage Pain and Other Symptoms Caused by Chemotherapy in People with Multiple Myeloma or Lymphoma


Full Title

Opioid-Sparing Pain Treatment In Myeloma And Lymphoma Patients Undergoing High-Dose Chemotherapy (OPTIMAL-HiChemo): Randomized Controlled Trial


Opioid medications may be used to treat pain associated with chemotherapy for multiple myeloma or lymphoma, but they can have side effects and be addictive. The purpose of this study is to learn if acupuncture treatments can reduce the need for opioid medication when managing pain caused by chemotherapy in patients with multiple myeloma or lymphoma who are scheduled to have high-dose chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant.

Researchers will find out whether adding acupuncture to the usual pain management approach prevents or reduces the pain caused by cancer treatments, and in turn reduces the need for opioid drugs. They also want to find out more about the effects of acupuncture on other symptoms caused by cancer treatments and on patients’ quality of life.

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese treatment that involves inserting very thin needles into certain points on the body. The needles are then moved (in place) by hand, and removed after about 20 minutes. Patients in this study will be randomly assigned to receive acupuncture and (if still needed) pain medication, or they will receive the usual treatment (pain medication) alone.


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

  • Patients must be scheduled to have high-dose chemotherapy for a stem cell transplant for multiple myeloma or lymphoma within the month following the study.
  • Patients may not undergo acupuncture within 2 weeks before high-dose chemotherapy or take opioids within one week of joining the study.
  • This study is for patients age 18 and older.

For more information about this study, please contact the Clinical Research Coordinator at 646-449-1027.