Office of Cancer Complimentary and Alternative Medicine
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CAM at the NCI
Updated: 08/02/13

NCI CAM History and the Role of OCCAM

The NCI has a long history demonstrating its interest in the scientific evaluation of complementary and/or alternative approaches in cancer. As early as the 1940s and through the 1970s, the NCI evaluated information about practices such as the Gerson regimen, Hoxsey, and the use of Laetrile in the treatment of cancer. In 1991, the NCI established its Best Case Series review program to evaluate case reports of potential new cancer treatment from CAM domains. Examples of topics that came through this program include antineoplastons, and the Kelly/Gonzalez Regimen.

As a result of the interest in CAM within the NCI, the Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine (OCCAM) was created by NCI senior leadership in 1998. OCCAM was established to coordinate and enhance activities of the NCI in CAM research as it relates to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer, cancer-related symptoms and side effects of conventional cancer treatment.

In FY 2010, the NCI supported approximately $105,341,737 million in CAM-related research. This represents over 382 projects in the form of grants, cooperative agreements, supplements or contracts.

See About Us for more information about OCCAM.