Home > Current Events > Year 2015 June
A review of stories making the headlines

RTOG 0537 shows acupuncture-like ENS may provide relief for radiation-induced dry mouth
Medicalxpress.com, 29 May 2015

Phase III results of Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) 0537 indicate that acupuncture-like, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (ALTENS) may be equally effective as pilocarpine, the current prescription medication in a pill, to treat radiation-induced xerostomia (dry mouth), according to a study published in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, the official scientific journal of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO).

Chinese medical halls face huge losses after liquor ban
Themalaymailonline.com , 2 June 2015

The recent ban on liquor products being sold in Chinese medical halls could translate to losses of up to 25% for traders, the restriction by the Petaling District and Land Office affects Chinese medical halls in Shah Alam, Subang and Petaling Jaya. Federation of Chinese Physicians and Medicine Dealers Associations secretary general Kerk Ee Chan said medical hall operators, who had been selling alcoholic products for decades, were shocked by the ban.

Acupuncture for the sequelae of Bell's palsy
7thspace.com , 2 June 2015

A randomized controlled trial including participants with the sequelae of Bell's palsy with two parallel arms: an acupuncture group and a waiting list group. The results showed that the acupuncture group exhibited greater improvements in the FDI social score and better results on the FDI physical function subscale, Sunnybrook Facial Nerve Grading score, and stiffness scale compared with the waiting list group after 8 weeks. Acupuncture had better therapeutic effects on the social and physical aspects of sequelae of Bell's palsy.

Few seek medical care for problems with acne: survey
Taipeitimes.com , 4 June 2015

Seven out of 10 Taiwanese are troubled by acne, but less than 40% seek medical care, with a majority turning to folk remedies to treat the condition, a survey released by the Taiwanese Dermatological Association showed. Those who refused to seek medical treatment, nearly 93% squeezed their pimples, while others wash their faces as many times as possible, take traditional Chinese medicine or use facial scrubs to combat their acne.

Western experts eye integration of traditional Chinese, Western medicine
English.news.cn , 8 June 2015

Rudolf Bauer, Head of the Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Graz, outlined his vision of an integrated medicine, said integration starts from correct understanding, so they have to work closely with Chinese colleagues and partners, and established a consortium. Evidence on efficacy, quality and safety is necessary in order to globalize TCM and can be reached through the same modern analytical tools and techniques that are also used in Western medicine.

Chinese medicines catch a market cold
Anhuinews.com , 9 June 2015

Tumbling prices have left the traditional Chinese medicine industry in poor health. Oversupply, poor planning and increased competition threaten to send the sector into a summer slump. The major problem facing the TCM industry is oversupply, deputy director of China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Medicine and Health Products said. The demand and supply structure was interrupted by rashly investors, and the local governments and industrial associations also failed to guide the farming community.

$170b Global Chinese medicine market behind University of Western Sydney deal with Beijing
Dailytelegraph.com.au , 11 June 2015

The potential for Australia to tap into the $170 billion global traditional Chinese medicine market is behind a new University of Western Sydney research centre in partnership with Beijing. Professor Alan Bensoussan said Chinese herbs are among the fastest growing complementary health products. While trials are already under way, it is expected the centre will be housed in the $450 million development.

China, EU medical center to explore TCM's role in cancer treatment
Global Times , 11 June 2015

A launch ceremony for the International Cancer Centre of Asia was held as part of the China-EU 2020 Strategic Agenda for Cooperation. Wang Jianyu, director of the center's preparing committee, said the center is not simply a hospital, nor a research institution, but a platform for resources, innovative ideas and services by medical experts from both China and EU nations. One of their goals is combination of TCM and Western medical treatments in treating cancer.

New over-the-counter drugs based on Chinese medicine to hit UK chemists
Telegraph.co.uk , 13 June 2015

A small company has become the first European drug maker to bring TCM to the Western market, launching two EU-certified products this year. Phynova's joint and muscle relief tablet was given the green light in March, while its cold and flu remedy is likely to get the go-ahead within the next few months. The company will also be introducing them back to the Chinese market and is currently registering its products in Germany and France.

Open University to offer part-time master of nursing, the lasting legacy of Sesame Street
Scmp.com , 15 June 2015

The Open University of Hong Kong will launch a part-time master of nursing (Chinese medicinal nursing) programme. Students will be required to complete 60 credits of courses within two years, which will include knowledge of the human body, pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment from the perspective of Chinese medicine. Clinical practicum will take place at Guangzhou University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Zhejiang Chinese Medical University.

Traditional medical training base for UM by August
Macaubusinessdaily.com , 16 June 2015

A talent training base for traditional medical practice in co-operation with the World Health Organisation will be established on the University of Macau campus by August this year. The new Centre to be established is also charged with the mission to drive the development of Macau's own TCM industry and introduce it to other countries. Macau's existing development of TCM has been restricted to small-scale family operations, a model that has failed to attract talent.

Acupuncture needle left in man's groin, lawsuit claims
Kgw.com , 16 June 2015

A Portland man has filed a lawsuit seeking more than $3 million from an acupuncturist he says left two needles in his skin, including one that later broke off and became embedded in his groin. The lawsuit says acupuncturist Lihua Wang failed to do pre- and post-session needle counts during an appointment, and then didn't inspect Robert Shipp's body for leftover needles before sending him home. Shipp was bedridden for months, still has trouble walking and can no longer work as an arborist.

Physios will be exempt from acupuncture law
Csp.org.uk , 16 June 2015

Physiotherapists in Wales who practise acupuncture will be exempt from new licensing laws, the CSP has said. Fears of double registration for physios were raised after publication of Public Health (Wales) Bill. It proposes new laws for people who carry out acupuncture, saying that they 'must do so under the authority of a special procedure licence'. However, CSP policy officer for Wales said that the Welsh government will introduce secondary legislation so that physiotherapists are exempt from the licensing rules.

Chinese herb promotes brain cell proliferation
Asianscientist.com , 17 June 2015

Researchers from the Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences have found that a herb used in TCM promotes neural progenitor cell proliferation and neurogenesis. Their results, published in Aging Cell, suggest that the herb Rhizoma Acori tatarinowii could be used to fight against age-related neurodegeneration. These findings indicate that AT and asarones may serve as therapeutic agents to promote neurogenesis, providing a novel way to fight against cognitive decline associated with aging and neurodegenerative disorders.

Manipulative therapy development
HKSAR Government , 17 June 2015

The Massage Establishments Ordinance and the licensing regime do not apply to a number of specified services, which include the premises of the medical professionals who are registered under relevant Ordinances, such as doctors, physiotherapists, Chinese medicine practitioners and chiropractors. There are courses offered by the Employees Retraining Board (ERB).

Chinese medicine's mention in free trade deal 'a tragedy for Australian science', critic warns
Abc.net.au , 18 June 2015

The inclusion of TCM in the free trade agreement between Australia and China is a step backwards for the health system and for science, one critic warns. Acting CEO of the Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association, Judy James, said Chinese government has set globalisation of TCM as a major priority and they've invested a lot of funding into this process. How exactly the agreement will influence medical practice in Australia remains unclear.

Drug makers are interested in an ancient Chinese medicine after Harvard found out how it works
Businessinsider.com.au , 22 June 2015

A company that specialises in turning University research into marketable drugs is licensing Harvard research related to the blue evergreen hydrangea root, a part of the plant that has been used in TCM for centuries. Professor Malcolm Whitman and Dr Tracy Keller found an active ingredient can block a type of rogue T-cell and also identified how it blocks these cells. Rogue T-cells attack healthy cells and can cause inflammation and damage that occur in autoimmune conditions like multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes and lupus.

Mushroom used in traditional Chinese medicine could treat obesity
Thedailymeal.com , 25 June 2015

Ganoderma lucidum, a mushroom commonly used for "health and longevity" within TCM, might also be a useful tool in the treatment of obesity, published in the Nature Communications. A study conducted on mice, the mushroom was found to have a positive impact on gut bacteria, limiting the amount of weight gain and fat-accumulation from a high-fat diet, as well as reducing inflammation, that link to insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, cardiovascular disease, obstructive sleep apnea, and cancer.

Results of Hong Kong Chinese Materia Medica Standards (Phase VII) announced
7thspace.com , 26 June 2015

The Department of Health published reference standards on safety and quality for 36 commonly used Chinese Materia Medica (CMM) in Phase VII of the Hong Kong Chinese Materia Medica Standards (HKCMMS). HKCMMS Volume 7 sets out the names, sources and descriptions of the 36 herbs, as well as methods of identification (including microscopic identification, thin-layer chromatographic identification and high-performance liquid chromatographic fingerprinting), tests and assays.

TCM approved by FDA to go further clinical trials
Globalpost.com , 27 June 2015

A kind of traditional Chinese medicine has been cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to enter phase III clinical trials. Kanglaite, an anticancer drug with active ingredients extracted from coix seed, passed a phase II trial by FDA for efficacy in treating pancreatic cancer. The developer plans to enroll 750 patients in the phase III trial in China, the US and Europe. It will take three to four years to complete at a cost of some 50 million US dollars.

Chinese medicine in tourism
Chinadaily.com.cn , 30 June 2015

Foreign practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine met up with their counterparts in the country and local government officials at a seminar organized by the Beijing Tourism Development Commission and the World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies. 29 facilities in the city are planned for the tour, many attendees said that Beijing municipal authorities have already developed for such visits.

China pushes traditional medicine abroad
Globalpost.com , 30 June 2015

Chinese government will support domestic hospitals to promote Chinese medicine worldwide. The domestic hospitals are encourage to joint with hospitals run by overseas Chinese and set up Chinese medicine centers abroad. As part of the Chinese medicine initiative, leading Chinese medicine institutions will help train overseas professionals to improve their clinical expertise.

Edible 150kg Mushrooms the size of man's arm found in Yunnan
Chinatopix.com , 30 June 2015

Mushrooms really sprout in places where you least expect them to grow. A local resident of Yunnan were up for a literally big surprise when a large cluster of mushrooms was found in Puer. The giant mushrooms approximately weigh 150 kilograms, with some even as large as a man's arm. Local mushroom expert Li Mengjie said that the giant fungi are very palatable and that they even taste great when served in a soup. Add to that the fact that Chinese people love mushrooms for their health benefits.

Compiled By:
Rose Tse, Integrated Chinese Medicine Holdings Ltd.