Jun James Mao, MD, MSCE, Associate Professor and Director of Integrative Medicine in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, was elected to the SIO Board of Trustees at the 2013 SIO Annual Conference in October.
A board certified family physician and licensed physician acupuncturist, Dr. Mao's practice focuses on acupuncture for pain, chronic system distress, and for menopause. He also provides acupuncture and primary care for cancer patients and survivors, integrative medicine for chronic disease and symptom management and integrative medicine to promote wellness. Dr. Mao's expertise in acupuncture and pain management positioned him to become the attending consult physician for the Symptom and Palliative Care Service at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
At the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine, he directs an international elective on acupuncture for medical students and residents. Over the last five years, this course has attracted more than 200 students from over 50 US institutions.
Dr. Mao is an active member of the cancer control and prevention program of the University of Pennsylvania's Abramson Cancer Center, where he also is founder and co-chair of the Penn Integrative Oncology Working Group. His research focuses on investigating the effects, mechanism and integration of complementary and alternative medicine for symptom management among cancer patients and survivors.
Dr. Mao's most recent research focused on evaluating the effects of electro-acupuncture on pain management for breast cancer patients with arthralgia from aromatase inhibitors medication. The control trial included 67 patients in early stages. The trial group receiving electro-acupuncture treatment over a 10-week period, all of whom had reported joint pain from AI treatment and experienced a 43 percent decrease in their pain. The findings were published in the European Journal of Cancer, and the subject of a report in the Huffington Post, which can be found here. Dr. Mao's hope is to conduct a larger study to confirm the findings.
Currently, Dr. Mao is leading SIO's engagement with the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI) as a guest editor of the upcoming supplement entitled "The Role of Integrative Oncology in Cancer Survivorship," to be published in September 2014. The goal of the monograph, Dr. Mao says, "is to make health care professionals more aware of the impact of integrated oncology." He adds, "The aim is to synthesize where the current evidences are and to pinpoint some future directions of integrative oncology research."
Dr. Mao has "a tremendous amount of optimism" over the future of complementary and alternative medicine in shaping the personalized and individualized treatment of cancer patients. He says with patients and their families continuing as the primary drivers, barriers are coming down and traditional oncology is becoming more open to complementary and alternative medicine.
Dr. Mao is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He received his medical training at the University of Illinois, Chicago, and his MSCE from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in the Department of Epidemiology. Dr. Mao also studied at the China Beijing International Acupuncture Training Center and the China Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and received his Certification for Medical Acupuncture for Physicians from the UCLA/Helms Medical Institute.