Misha Ruth Cohen, a Doctor of Oriental Medicine and Licensed Acupuncturist whose career started in HIV/AIDS and now has a strong focus on cancer, recently joined the SIO Board of Trustees during SIO's October conference in Vancouver. She is the Clinical Director of Chicken Soup Chinese Medicine, Executive Director of the Misha Ruth Cohen Education Foundation, and Research Specialist of Integrative Medicine at the University of California Institute for Health and Aging, all in San Francisco. An elected Fellow to the National Academy of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, Dr. Cohen has been practicing traditional Asian medicine for the past 38 years.
Recognized internationally as a senior teacher and leading expert in Chinese traditional medicine, Cohen has been invited several times by the Chinese government to present her programs, and her articles on HIV/AIDS have been officially translated for use in China. Cohen designed the HIV Professional Certification Program for Licensed Acupuncturists and certified more than 200 practitioners between 1985 and 1990. In 1990, she designed the Hepatitis C Professional Training Program for Licensed Acupuncturists and trained more than 450 practitioners from 1990 through 2009.
Dr. Linda Carlson practices what she preaches. While earning her PhD at McGill University as a Clinical Health Psychologist and working with Alzheimer's patients, Dr. Carlson began using yoga and meditation in her personal life. Her interest was sparked with the experiences that one of her eight classmates had shared of recent travel to India. "It felt like a good fit, a perfect marriage of personal and professional interests," said Dr. Carlson when asked how she integrated mindfulness-based cancer care with her background in psychoneuroendocrinology.
Working in the clinic as a gastrointestinal oncologist, Dr. Yousuf Zafar heard many patient complaints about the financial burden of cancer, even from patients with insurance. Concerned that the disease process for patients was exacerbated by stress over financial considerations, Dr. Zafar decided to examine the existing data, and he found that little to none existed. He dedicated himself to conducting research to fill that void. Many years and two studies later, an essay by Dr. Zafar and his colleagues entitled "Full Disclosure – Out-of-Pocket Costs as Side Effects" was published in the October 17, 2013 New England Journal of Medicine. (Click here to read the article.) The article outlines what the researchers call the "financial toxicity" of treatments with high out-of-pocket costs to patients. Regarding financial toxicity, Dr. Zafar says, "There is still a lot to learn."
Over 300 physicians, researchers, nurses, integrative medicine practitioners, patient advocates and patients from 16 countries convened at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver in Vancouver, BC, Canada from October 20 to 22 at the 10th International Conference of the Society for Integrative Oncology to examine the growing evidence base on the use of integrative therapies for cancer prevention and control. The 10th International Conference of the Society for Integrative Oncology was presented in association with the University of British Columbia School of Medicine Department of Continuing Medical Education and the UBC School of Nursing. Conference presentations included topics on physical activity; cancer prevention and survivorship; cannabis in the treatment and management of cancer and related side effects; chemoprevention through natural health products and advances in nutrition therapy; and much more.
Over the last year SIO has hosted a number of successful members-only webinars. In the last five months the focus has been on “Herbs and Supplements in Integrative Oncology”.
In May, Debu Tripathy, MD, professor of Clinical Medicine, co-leader of the Women’s Cancer Program, Priscilla and Art Ulene Chair in Women’s Cancer at the University of Southern California and USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center presented on “Preclinical and Clinical Studies of Botanical Agents for Breast Cancer.” Gregory A. Plotnikoff, MD, MTS, FACP, an integrative medicine physician at the Penny George Institute for Health and Healing and an editor of the new journal Global Advances in Health and Medicine,presented “Microbiome & Cancer: Should we ever prescribe bacteria?” in June.
July’s webinar featured Katherine Crew, MD, MS,medical director of the Bastyr Integrative Oncology Research Center (BIORC) and a clinical research professor at the Bastyr University Research Institute, with “Something New Under the Sun: Vitamin D and Breast Cancer Prevention.” Bharat Aggarwal, MD, Ransom Horne Jr. Distinguished Professor of Cancer Research, Professor of Cancer Medicine, Immunology, Biochemistry and Experimental Therapeutics, and Chief of the Cytokine Research Section, in the Department of Experimental Therapeutics at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, presented a very informative webinar in August, “Anti-Inflammatory Life Style for Prevention and Treatment of Cancer Facts and Fiction.” And most recently, on September 19, Leanna Standish, ND, PhD, Lac, FABNO, presented on “Targeted Cancer Immunotherapy Using Mushrooms”.
SIO’s Education Committee is currently preparing the next round of Members-Only Webinars, centering on a theme "Mind-Body and Social Health." Speakers and their presentation subjects will be announced in the November SIO NewsWire.
Access to SIO’s webinars is a valuable member benefit. Members may participate live or have access to audio and video recordings of each presentation afterwards. Members have unlimited exclusive access to SIO’s recorded webinar videos, given by leading international experts in their fields within integrative oncology, via the My SIO Portal. Just click the Member tab, enter your user ID and password, then click on the Videos and Webinars link on the right of the screen.
Dugald Seely, ND, MSc, FABNO is director of research and clinical epidemiology at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM) in Toronto, is an affiliate investigator for the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute[U1] , and leads the clinical practice and research program for the Ottawa Integrative Cancer Care Centre. That’s a pretty impressive resume for someone who didn’t want to go into medicine.
Six years ago, Josh Mailman was reaching soaring heights in his business and career when he heard those three dreaded words, 'You have cancer'. From that point on, everything in his life changed. Josh began his "journey" of learning to live with a rare form of cancer, neuroendocrine pancreatic carcinoma, which is found in fewer than one in a million cases of cancer diagnosed each year.
The co-creator of e-fax.com and a technology entrepreneur, Josh retired from business soon after his diagnosis and focused on his health and issues that are important to him. Those things include family--especially his precious then eight-month-old son, obtaining treatment for his disease including integrating complementary therapies, and working with organizations like the Society for Integrative Oncology to bring awareness of such therapies to patients who would otherwise not know about or have access to them.
SIO Education Committee members regularly review research articles and provides commentaries. Their most recent commentary, by committee member Jacqueline Brunetti, MD, Director of Radiology at Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck, NJ, discusses the recent article "A Randomized Phase II Study of Pomegranate Extract for Men with Rising PSA Following Initial Therapy for Localized Prostate Cancer" (published in the journal Prostatic Cancer Prostatic Diseases in March 2013).
Dr. Leanna Standish’s greatest fear has always been cancer. After losing many of her family members to the disease, she decided to take on the challenge of curing it. When asked if this task was too great, she replied, “Never.” Her will to overcome this close-to-home obstacle has made the quest her everyday driving force.
Leanna Standish, ND, PhD, LAc, FABNO is a neuroscientist and a naturopathic physician who is board certified in naturopathic oncology. She is currently the medical director of the Bastyr Integrative Oncology Research Center and a clinical research professor at the Bastyr University Research Institute. She has served as principal investigator on several National Institutes of Health (NIH) research grants since 1994.
Founding SIO President Barrie R. Cassileth, MS, PhD and 2011 President Gary Deng, MD, PhD have collaborated on an article entitled "Complementary or alternative medicine in cancer care-myths and realities," published in the July 30, 2013 edition of Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology. The two practice at Memorial Sloan--Kettering Cancer Center. Dr. Cassileth is the Laurance S. Rockefeller Chair and Chief of Integrative Medicine. Dr. Deng is an associate member and attending physician and leads the physician education program in the Integrative Medicine Service.