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Supportive Care
Integrative Oncology
Symptom Management
Breast Cancer

Acupuncture for the Management of Hot Flashes

The ASCO Post’s Integrative Oncology series is intended to facilitate the availability of evidence-based information on integrative and complementary therapies commonly used by patients with cancer. In this installment, authors Jun J. Mao, MD, MSCE, and Jyothirmai Gubili, MS, present a case study...

Integrative Oncology

Soy

Scientific Name: Glycine max Common Names: Soybean, soya, tofu, miso, tempeh Overview An annual herb indigenous to East Asia, soy was domesticated more than 3,000 years ago for its pods and edible seeds. It is now the world’s most important legume crop and is grown in diverse climates. Foods...

Integrative Oncology

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

Technically, vitamin D is a secosteroid hormone, not a vitamin. Increasing evidence indicates that vitamin D exerts effects beyond calcium homeostasis. Importantly, for example, higher serum vitamin D levels are associated with better cancer outcomes, including survival.1-3 The protective effects...

Integrative Oncology

The Best of SIO

The following five abstracts were chosen as the best submitted studies presented at this year’s International Conference of the Society for Integrative Oncology (SIO). They represent a diverse group of integrative therapies and interventions in the care of patients with cancer, including an...

Integrative Oncology

Advancing the Global Impact of Integrative Oncology

The 13th International Conference of the Society of Integrative Oncology (SIO) held in Miami, Florida, in November, drew its largest audience yet, with nearly 400 clinicians, researchers, patients, and patient advocates in integrative oncology care from 25 countries in attendance with large...

Integrative Oncology

Sleep Disruption in Cancer Survivors: Yoga Offers a Low-Risk Intervention With High Potential for Benefit

Impaired sleep quality is a concerning problem for many patients with cancer, and pharmacologic treatments come with many negative effects. Several small studies indicate that yoga improves persistent fatigue, sleep disturbance, anxiety, and quality of life, in addition to reducing the need for ...

Integrative Oncology

Bromelain

Scientific Names: Sulfydryl proteolytic enzyme, cysteine proteinase Common Names: Ananase, Dayto Anase, Traumanase Overview Derived from the fruits and stems of pineapples, bromelain is a proteolytic enzyme that is used to treat burns and skin conditions, and as an anti-inflammatory agent....

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...

Integrative Oncology

Chamomile

Scientific Name: Matricaria recutita, Chamomilla recutita, Matricaria chamomilla Common Names: Hungarian chamomile, wild chamomile Overview An aromatic annual herb prevalent in Europe, North Africa, and Northwest Asia, chamomile has been used as a medicinal plant for several centuries. It has been ...

Supportive Care
Integrative Oncology

Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare Launches New Education and Training Programs

The Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare recently announced the launch of two comprehensive educational offerings informed by the Compassionate, Collaborative Care—“The Triple C”—Framework, a new interdisciplinary model focused on improving quality and outcomes.  The new educational...

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

Black Cohosh

Scientific Name: Cimicifuga racemosa Common Names: Black snakeroot, rattlesnake root, squawroot, bugbane, bugwort Brand Names: Remifemin, Menofem, Klimadynon Overview A perennial plant native to the eastern United States and Canada, black cohosh root was used by Native Americans to treat colds,...

integrative oncology
palliative care

Eric Roeland, MD, and Jennifer S. Temel, MD, on Integrative Palliative and Oncology Care

Eric Roeland, MD, of the University of California, San Diego, and Jennifer S. Temel, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital, discuss findings that showed the benefits of offering palliative care integrated with oncology care (Abstracts 10003 and 10131).

Integrative Oncology

Fitness: Can Exercise Lengthen Survival in Patients With Cancer?

Integrative Oncology is guest edited by Barrie R. Cassileth, MS, PhD, of Memorial Sloan ­Kettering Cancer Center, New York. 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...

Integrative Oncology

Natural Cancer Remedies

The cost and side effects associated with traditional cancer therapy are major concerns, and in part many patients are seeking natural remedies such as graviola, curcumin, and moringa, due to these concerns. Traditional cancer therapy is increasingly effective, and oncologists are achieving better...

Integrative Oncology

Boswellia

The ASCO Post’s Integrative Oncology series is intended to facilitate the availability of evidence-based information on integrative and complementary therapies commonly used by patients with cancer. We chose Boswellia for this issue because of its increasing use by patients with cancer....

Integrative Oncology

Benefiting From Mind-Body Therapy

My diagnosis of early-stage breast cancer at age 35 was a shock, also because I come from a family with no history of cancer. In disbelief, I was literally speechless—I lost my voice completely for several days. I grew up in the former Soviet Union and then in the newly independent Kyrgyzstan. My...

integrative oncology

Mistletoe

The use of dietary supplements by patients with cancer has increased significantly over the past 20 years 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...

pain management
palliative care
symptom management
integrative oncology

Lorenzo Cohen, MD, on Acupuncture and Other Nondrug Pain Management Techniques

Lorenzo Cohen, MD, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses nonpharmacologic approaches to symptom control. Techniques such as acupuncture for managing pain and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, or yoga and meditation to help improve quality of life, can be safely integrated into oncology care.

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

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...

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