Is tai chi effective complementary treatment for cancer?

For now, “the evidence is not convincing enough to suggest that tai chi is an effective supportive treatment for cancer,” according to researchers from the Peninsula Medical School at the Universities of Exeter & Plymouth in the UK.

There was very little evidence to evaluate.

  • Although 27 studies were identified, most were flawed because too few patients were studied, inadequate study design, and poor reporting.
  • Only 4 worthwhile studies in women with breast cancer were identified and reviewed by the authors.
  • 2 of these studies reported significant differences in symptoms compared to psychosocial support.

Remember, the lack of sufficient information should not be interpreted as a lack of effectiveness.

The results of two studies were positive for tai chi. This is one situation where “further research should attempt to answer the many open questions related to the usefulness of tai chi for supportive cancer care.”

2/25/07 00:20 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.