The Guidelines are referenced in MedLine and are the only comprehensive evidence-based guidelines for incorporating complementary therapies into conventional clinical practice. The published guidelines are available FREE
The Society for Integrative Oncology (SIO) published its first edition of Integrative Oncology Practice Guidelines in 2007. 1 Experts who specialize in defined categories of integrative or complementary therapies were asked to review the scientific literature and categorize the interventions into specific levels of utility that take into account the methodological strength of supportive evidence, benefits versus risks, practicality, and value. Members of the SIO Executive, who are responsible for the final recommendations, peer reviewed and critiqued the submissions, so the final product is a consensus. The 2009 edition2 updates and expands on the previous version and provides practical recommendations for the use of complementary therapies in the supportive care of cancer patients. This is not a formal meta-analysis; in other words, no attempt was made to specify the inclusion criteria or which studies would be excluded. There was no intent to formulate a quantitative analysis but simply to use all of the evidence found in the literature for that particular intervention. The authors for each section were given the freedom to use their personal expertise to search the literature and used MeSH headings that are appropriate to their expertise in the field. This approach is partly subjective, albeit presenting a more realistic clinical application, especially given that a more formal analysis would be restricted by trying to compare apples with oranges and would exclude many interventions for which randomized clinical trials have not yet been done. The authors are cautious in their approach to recommendations and are clear in emphasizing the potential for safe interventions, especially when pharmaceutical approaches are not helping or require complementing or when patients have a preference for a nonpharmaceutical intervention.
Click here to access the 2009 SIO Guidelines, Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines for Integrative Oncology: Complementary Therapies and Botanicals.
Click here to access the 2013 SIO Guidelines, Complementary therapies and integrative medicine in lung cancer: Diagnosis and management of lung cancer.
Click here to access a YouTube presentation of SIO in Spanish by Dr. Pablo Mountford.
To visit the NCCAM website, click here.
1. Deng GE, Cassileth BR, Cohen L, et al. Integrative oncology practice guidelines. J Soc Integr Oncol 2007; 5: 65 – 84.
2. Gary Deng, Moshe Frenkel, Lorenzo Cohen, Barrie R. Cassileth, Donald I. Abrams, Jillian L. Capodice, Kerry S. Courneya, Trish Dryden, Suzanne Hanser, Nagi Kumar, Dan Labriola, Diane W. Wardell, and Stephen Sagar. Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines for Integrative Oncology: Complementary Therapies and Botanicals. Journal of the Society for Integrative Oncology, Vol 7, No 3 (Summer), 2009: pp 85–120.