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integrative oncology
symptom management

Acupuncture for Cancer Symptom Clusters

Acupuncture has been practiced for thousands of years in Eastern Asian cultures as a component of traditional Chinese medicine.1 In the United States, acupuncture became known to the public as a complementary and alternative medicine technique in the 1970s, but it took many years before it was...

integrative oncology

A Conversation with Barrie R. Cassileth, PhD

Barrie R. Cassileth, PhD, Chief, Integrative Medicine Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in New York, recently spoke with The ASCO Post about her quest to stamp out the illegitimate use of alternative medicine in cancer care and the results from her latest research. A...

integrative oncology

Integrative Oncology Modalities Supported by Varying Levels of Evidence, but More Research Needed Overall

Over the past couple of decades, unregulated nonstandard oncology approaches have gained growing popularity among cancer patients. The relatively new field of integrative oncology was established to promote a more holistic and multidisciplinary approach to cancer care and to encourage scientific...

integrative oncology

Integrative Medicine Offers Added Value for Patients with Cancer

Addressing a patient’s physical, emotional, and spiritual needs during the cancer journey, integrative medicine combines such time-honored therapies as nutrition, exercise, and meditation alongside allopathic approaches to cancer care, with the ultimate goal of improving survival rates and reducing ...

integrative oncology

Integrative Oncology: Essential to Cancer Care

During the 1960s and 1970s, the concept of an expanded approach to oncologic treatment encompassing “body, mind, and spirit” grew in patient popularity and morphed into two basic categories: “alternative” and “complementary” therapies. Together, these later became known by the acronym CAM, for...

integrative oncology

Acupuncture Continues to Secure Position within Integrative Oncology

More than 14 years after an NIH Consensus Panel finding of “efficacy of acupuncture in adult postoperative and chemotherapy nausea and vomiting,” an informal show-of-hands poll at the Eighth International Society for Integrative Oncology (SIO) Conference indicated acupuncture was not yet fully...

integrative oncology

NIH Director Calls for Rigorous Evaluation of Integrative Medicine to Provide Evidence of Efficacy

“Many new frontiers exist in integrative medicine,” NIH Director Francis Collins, MD, PhD, stated in his keynote address at the Eighth International Conference of the Society for Integrative Oncology (SIO) in Cleveland. “The evidence is overwhelming that these approaches are being used by many...

integrative oncology

‘New Science, New Solutions’ Explored at Society for Integrative Oncology Conference

“Innovating Integrative Oncology: New Science, New Solutions” was the title of the Society for Integrative Oncology (SIO) Eighth International Conference. Topics ranged from molecular biology to mitigation of treatment toxicity to mind-body medicine. A total of 505 people attended the conference,...

integrative oncology

Some Patients Using Complementary and Alternative Therapies May Be Receiving ‘Parallel’ Rather Than Integrative Care

Most patients with cancer receiving complementary and alternative medicine do so not as part of integrative care, but rather as “parallel care,” according to Lynda Balneaves, RN, PhD, Associate Professor, University of British Columbia, School of Nursing in Vancouver. Dr. Balneaves is lead...

integrative oncology

Acai Berry

The use of dietary supplements by patients with cancer has risen significantly over the past 2 decades despite insufficient evidence of safety and effectiveness. Finding reliable sources of information about dietary supplements can be daunting. Patients typically rely on family, friends, and the...

breast cancer
integrative oncology

Soy Phytoestrogens and Breast Cancer: An Enduring Dilemma

The impact of soy consumption on breast cancer diagnosis and outcome has remained of concern to clinicians and researchers for the past 20 years. Although studied extensively in epidemiologic studies as well as lab and animal research, no medical consensus on soy’s effects has emerged. Many studies ...

integrative oncology

Astragalus

The use of dietary supplements by cancer patients has risen significantly over the past 2 decades despite insufficient evidence of safety and effectiveness. Finding reliable sources of information about dietary supplements can be daunting. Patients typically rely on family, friends, and the...

integrative oncology

Antioxidant Supplementation in Patients with Cancer: Is It Safe and Effective?

Antioxidant supplements are widely used by healthy individuals as a preventive measure against cancer and heart disease and by patients with cancer to promote healing and prevent recurrence. Studies suggest that dietary supplements are used by up to 81% of cancer survivors, and that 14% to 32%...

integrative oncology

Dong Quai

Scientific Name: Angelica sinensis Common Names: Chinese angelica, dang gui, tang kuei, tan kue Overview Dong quai is a perennial herb indigenous to China, Japan, and Korea. Its root has been used for centuries as a spice, tonic, and medicine. Dong quai is mentioned in Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing, the...

integrative oncology

Acupuncture: Does It Alleviate Symptoms Associated with Cancer Care?

A therapeutic modality of traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture has been extensively investigated in Western medical settings. Its clinical use is increasingly common for the management of pain and other conditions. In the oncology setting, research demonstrates that acupuncture can...

integrative oncology

Green Tea

The use of dietary supplements by cancer patients has risen significantly over the past 2 decades despite insufficient evidence of safety and effectiveness. Finding reliable sources of information about dietary supplements can be daunting. Patients typically rely on family, friends, and the...

integrative oncology

Turmeric 

The use of dietary supplements by cancer patients has risen significantly over the past 2 decades despite insufficient evidence of safety and effectiveness. Finding reliable sources of information about dietary supplements can be daunting. Patients typically rely on family, friends, and the...

integrative oncology

Fitness: Can Exercise Lengthen Survival in Patients with Cancer? 

Regular physical activity has long been associated with decreased risk of disease, including many types of cancer. Such benefits may translate into increased life expectancy of up to 4.5 years, with even the lowest levels of activity providing some survival advantage.1 Most strikingly, however,...

integrative oncology

Flaxseed

Dietary supplement use by patients with cancer has increased significantly over the past 2 decades despite insufficient evidence of safety and effectiveness. Finding reliable sources of information about dietary supplements can be daunting. Patients typically rely on family, friends, and the...

integrative oncology

Barrie R. Cassileth, MS, PhD, Champion of Integrative Oncology, Continues to Nurture Growth of the Field 

Over the past decade, integrative oncology has gained wide acceptance as an evidenced-based way to improve the lives of patients with cancer throughout the continuum of their care. The ASCO Post recently spoke with Barrie R. Cassileth, MS, PhD, Chief of the Integrative Medicine Service and Laurance ...

integrative oncology
breast cancer

Expert Point of View: Lorenzo Cohen, PhD 

It is clear from our study, and other studies examining mind-body interventions in patients with cancer, that it is important for patients to consider participating in some kind of program to manage their stress and improve their quality of life. This is particularly true for patients who are...

breast cancer
integrative oncology

Qigong Practice Associated with Quality-of-life Benefits in Women Undergoing Radiation Therapy for Breast Cancer 

Qigong (“qi” or “chi” = energy flow, “gong” = skill or achievement) is an integrated mind-body exercise and meditative practice that involves rhythmic breathing coordinated with repetition of fluid movements and calm focus on the body. A study reported in Cancer by Zhen Chen, MD, and colleagues...

integrative oncology

Symptom Management with Complementary Therapies for Patients Receiving Radiation Therapy

The supportive care of patients with cancer receiving radiotherapy is an important responsibility for the radiation oncologist, and complementary therapies are an integral component of many patients’ treatment strategy.A recent prospective study suggests that 54% of patients with breast cancer...

integrative oncology

Ginger

The use of dietary supplements by cancer patients has risen significantly over the past 2 decades despite insufficient evidence of safety and effectiveness. Finding reliable sources of information about dietary supplements can be daunting. Patients typically rely on family, friends, and the...

integrative oncology

Vitamin D and Cancer: A Uniform Dose Is Unlikely to Fit All Patients 

Integrative Oncology is guest edited by Barrie R. Cassileth, MS, PhD, Chief of the Integrative Medicine Service and Laurance S. Rockefeller Chair in Integrative Medicine at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York. The Integrative Medicine Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center...

integrative oncology

Shiitake Mushroom 

The use of dietary supplements by patients with cancer has increased significantly over the past 2 decades despite insufficient evidence of safety and effectiveness. Finding reliable sources of information about dietary supplements can be daunting. Patients typically rely on family, friends, and...

integrative oncology

10th International Conference of the Society for Integrative Oncology Will Explore Translational Science Topics

This October for 3 full days (October 20–22) in Vancouver, Canada, oncologists, scientists, and other oncology health professionals will gather for the Society for Integrative Oncology Annual Meeting. This year’s conference theme is Translational Science in Integrative Oncology: From Bedside, to...

integrative oncology

Western Science Catching Up with Traditional Chinese Medicine 

Since the National Institutes of Health Consensus Statement in 1997 concluded that the evidence to date suggests acupuncture is effective in the treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting,1 numerous additional indications for its use in relieving symptoms related to cancer or its...

integrative oncology

Acupuncture May Reduce Arm Lymphedema in Patients with Breast Cancer 

Integrative Oncology is guest edited by Barrie R. Cassileth, MS, PhD, Chief of the Integrative Medicine Service and Laurance S. Rockefeller Chair in Integrative Medicine at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York. The Integrative Medicine Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center...

integrative oncology

Ginseng 

Guest Editor Integrative Oncology is guest edited by Barrie R. Cassileth, MS, PhD, Chief of the Integrative Medicine Service and Laurance S. Rockefeller Chair in Integrative Medicine at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York. The Integrative Medicine Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering...

integrative oncology

Ginseng in the Spotlight 

I read the study by Barton and colleagues in Journal of the National Cancer Institute with great interest. Ginseng seems potentially to be one treatment for cancer-related fatigue, a poorly understood but debilitating symptom that patients experience during and after treatment.1 I am impressed that ...

integrative oncology

American Ginseng Improves Cancer-Related Fatigue 

In a collaborative phase III trial of the North Central Cancer Treatment Group and Mayo Clinic (N07C2) reported in Journal of the National Cancer Institute by Debra L. Barton, RN, PhD, AOCN, FAAN, of the Mayo Clinic and colleagues, patients with cancer-related fatigue were treated with Wisconsin...

integrative oncology

Herb-Drug Interactions in Oncology  

Guest Editor Integrative Oncology is guest edited by Barrie R. Cassileth, MS, PhD, Chief of the Integrative Medicine Service and Laurance S. Rockefeller Chair in Integrative Medicine at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York. The Integrative Medicine Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering...

integrative oncology

Omega-3

Common Name: Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) Brand Names:  Omegaven, Max-EPA The use of dietary supplements by patients with cancer has increased significantly over the past 2 decades despite insufficient evidence of safety and effectiveness. Finding reliable sources of information about...

integrative oncology

Ginkgo biloba

The use of dietary supplements by patients with cancer has increased significantly over the past 2 decades despite insufficient evidence of safety and effectiveness. Finding reliable sources of information about dietary supplements can be daunting. Patients typically rely on family, friends, and...

integrative oncology

Society for Integrative Oncology Is Helping to Advance Evidence-Based, Comprehensive Integrative Health Care

Heather Greenlee, ND, PhD, was named President of the Society for Integrative Oncology (SIO) at the organization’s 10th International Conference in October. Dr. Greenlee is Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in New...

integrative oncology

The Best of SIO

The following four abstracts, which describe findings in three clinical studies and one basic science study, were singled out as the top abstracts at this year’s International Conference of the Society for Integrative Oncology. Self-Administered Acupressure Zick S, Wyatt G, Murphy S; et al: The...

integrative oncology

Highlights From the 10th International Conference of the Society for Integrative Oncology 

The 10th International Conference of the Society for Integrative Oncology (SIO) was held recently in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and attracted over 300 oncologists and internal medicine physicians, researchers, nurses, integrative medicine practitioners, cancer survivors, and patient...

solid tumors
integrative oncology

Stress and Tumor Biology: Insights Into Managing Stress to Help Improve Cancer Care

Stress is ubiquitous in our society, especially for people diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. There is a common misconception that stress is derived from a particular negative event. However, the event itself (the stressors, such as cancer diagnoses and treatment) does not causes stress....

integrative oncology

Kava

Kava Scientific Name: Piper methysticum Common Names: Kava-kava, kawa, kavain, rauschpfeffer, intoxicating long pepper, tonga, yagona, and yaqona. Overview Kava, a perennial shrub indigenous to the Hawaiian Islands and the Pacific Rim, is known for its relaxant effects and used for social and...

integrative oncology

The Ketogenic Diet in Cancer Control

Ketogenic (or very-low-carbohydrate) diets have been employed since the 1920s as nonpharmacologic therapies for epilepsy and, in some instances, have obviated the need for medication for that disease. Since the 1960s, the ketogenic diet has become better known as a means of managing obesity. This...

integrative oncology

Reishi Mushroom

Scientific name: Ganoderma lucidum Common names: Ling zhi, lin zi, mushroom of immortality Overview A fungus, reishi mushroom is an important component of the traditional medical systems of China, Japan, Korea, and other Asian countries. It is used to increase energy, stimulate the immune system,...

survivorship
integrative oncology

Survivorship: Living Well During and After Cancer

Barrie Cassileth, PhD, Laurance S. Rockefeller Chair in Integrative Medicine and Chief, Integrative Medicine Service, at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in New York has published a new book called Survivorship: Living Well During and After Cancer. Dr. Cassileth provides readers with...

integrative oncology

Haiku: To Take Herbs or Not to?

While botanicals are generally perceived as harmless, many reports in literature indicate that misuse of botanicals can be detrimental. Presented below are a few popular herbs in use today, along with their benefits and risks, especially when taken along with other medications.   Soy...

integrative oncology

Thirty Years of Effort Has Led to the Mainstreaming of Integrative Medicine in Oncology Care

When Barrie R. Cassileth, MS, PhD, began researching complementary medicine and its potential for use in oncology care over 30 years ago, not much was known about the importance of complementary therapies for the well-being of patients with cancer. She chose to conduct her doctoral dissertation...

integrative oncology

St. John's Wort

The use of dietary supplements by patients with cancer has increased significantly over the past 2 decades despite insufficient evidence of safety and effectiveness. Finding reliable sources of information about dietary supplements can be daunting. Patients typically rely on family, friends, and...

integrative oncology

Avoiding Antioxidant-Drug Interactions During Cancer Treatment

Many potential drug-nutrient interactions can affect cancer treatment. It is important to consider these interactions given the significant use of supplements and other self-treatment options during cancer care. Antioxidants account for a large portion of the $32 billion in supplement industry...

integrative oncology

Red Clover

The use of dietary supplements by patients with cancer has increased significantly over the past 2 decades despite insufficient evidence of safety and effectiveness. Finding reliable sources of information about dietary supplements can be daunting. Patients typically rely on family, friends, and...

integrative oncology

Getting Results: How Oncologists and Pathologists Can Work Together to Facilitate Molecular Testing

Advances in molecular testing mean that highly specific information can be detailed about the molecular characteristics of a patient’s tumor, as well as indications of potential responsiveness to targeted therapy. But getting those detailed results from the pathologists can be a challenge to many...

integrative oncology

The Role of Music Therapy in Cancer Care

Music therapy, an established adjuvant to standard cancer care, is offered in a growing number of cancer centers throughout the United States and internationally. Defined by the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) as “the evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individual...

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