The Society for Integrative Oncology

The mission of the Society for Integrative Oncology is to advance evidence-based, comprehensive, integrative healthcare to improve the lives of people affected by cancer. 

Society News

Report Card on Complementary Therapies for Breast Cancer

Over eighty percent of breast cancer patients in the United States use complementary therapies following a breast cancer diagnosis, but there has been little science-based guidance to inform clinicians and patients about their safety and effectiveness. In newly published guidelines from the Society for Integrative Oncology, researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center with colleagues at MD Anderson Cancer Center, University of Michigan, Memorial Sloan Kettering, and other institutions in the U.S. and Canada, analyzed which integrative treatments appear to be most effective and safe for patients. They evaluated more than 80 different therapies. 

Meditation, yoga, and relaxation with imagery were found to have the strongest evidence supporting their use. They received an “A” grade and are recommended for routine use for anxiety and other mood disorders common to breast cancer patients.  The same practices received a “B” grade for reducing stress, depression, and fatigue, but are also endorsed for most breast cancer patients. Acupuncture received a “B” grade for controlling chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting and can be recommended to most patients.  More than 30 interventions, including some natural products and acupuncture for other conditions, had weaker evidence of benefit due to either small study sizes or conflicting study results, and received a “C” grade. Seven other therapies were deemed unlikely to provide any benefit and are not recommended.  One therapy was found to be harmful: acetyl-l-carnitine, which is marketed to prevent chemotherapy-related neuropathy, and actually increased risk for the condition.

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Journal of the National Cancer Institute and Society for Integrative Oncology Partner to Bring Focus on the Role of Integrative Oncology for Cancer Survivorship Presented at International Conference

More than ever, cancer survivors seek evidence-based information in order to incorporate integrative medicine into conventional cancer care to help improve their outcomes in terms of controlling disease and improving aspects of quality of life in the areas of mind, body and spirit.

The Journal of the National Cancer Institute has released a special issue entitled “The Role of Integrative Oncology for Cancer Survivorship,” highlighting original research in the field of integrative oncology. This new resource was presented to a global audience of health care professionals and patient advocates in Houston, Texas, at the Eleventh International Conference of the Society for Integrative Oncology, and has been published on line. SIO is an international multi-disciplinary organization established to advance evidence-based, comprehensive integrative health care to improve the lives of people affected by cancer. The articles in the special Monograph were all peer-reviewed. 

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Medical Acupuncture Call for Oncology Articles

The Medical Acupuncture journal is planning a special issue on oncology.  The deadline for article abstracts and submissions is December 15, 2014, and the issue will be published in Summer 2015. Dr. William Cho and Dr. Laura Bowman will serve as guest editors, together with Dr. Richard Niemtzow, the Editor in Chief. For article submission, please consult the Guidelines for Authors on Medical Acupuncture’s website. Medical Acupuncture is a journal with an international scope, focusing on the evolving specialty of medical acupuncture. 

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