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Last Updated: 11/30/23

Indian Medicine

The Taj Mahal



Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between USA and India (Science and Technology Agreement)

The memorandum describes a bilateral agreement between two countries. It expresses a convergence of will between USA and India, indicating an intended common line of action (

LOI between OCCAM-NCI and CCRAS-India

In October 2020, the Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine (OCCAM) of the Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis (DCTD) of the National Cancer Institute (NCI/NIH) signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with the Central Council for Research on Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS) from India. Both participants intend for research and training collaboration activities under this LOI to be governed by the Agreement on Science and Technology Cooperation between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of India, signed at New Delhi on September 20 and 2, 2019, ("Science and Technology Agreement", see above). All activities included under this LOI are intended to enhance potential cancer prevention, control and treatment that would benefit both countries and possibly other Low-and-Middle Income Countries (LMICs).

The collaboration will include the following areas:

  1. Research programs in mutually identified research areas, including technical inputs for development of protocols for any collaborative research in the field of research and development in Ayurveda.
  2. Advise and enhance collaboration of U. S. researchers with CCRAS's work related to preclinical/clinical studies.
  3. Joint workshops, seminars, conferences, or trainings to identify key areas where research work can be intensified, including potential cooperative research and research-training programs and activities related to the field of Ayurveda and possibly other areas of integrative oncology.
  4. Exchanges of scientists in the field of CAM and integrative oncology research, including in Ayurveda, through which the Participants expect to gain from each other's expertise.
  5. Identification of cancer CAM research gaps and any other potential CAM research activities related to cancer and integrative oncology that may be mutually decided upon by the Participants; and
  6. Extension of technical support by OCCAM to CCRAS in the field of CAM research related to cancer.

For more information please contact: Dr. Alejandro Salicrup, Senior Advisor for Global Health Research at the Center of Global Health & OCCAM/DCTD, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health.

Thinking Together – A research-based dialog between NCI/OCCAM and CCRAS, India

In keeping with the Letter of Intent (LOI) for scientific collaboration between the Office Cancer Complementary Medicine (OCCAM) of the National Cancer Institute (NCI-NIH) and the Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS) in India, a series of webinars titled Thinking Together – A research-based dialog between NCI/OCCAM and CCRAS, India, was started on October 7, 2021. These webinars are designed for the two lead organizations to present and discuss issues related to the potential for Ayurvedic and Western medicine physicians and scientists to work together and the research that might develop from such interactions. For more information please contact Dr. Alejandro Salicrup at

10/7/2021 Webinar: More than 75 participants attended the first webinar from different cancer centers, academic and research institutions in India, the United States, Brazil as well as officers from the World Health Organization (WHO). In the recording you will see two presentations, one entitled: The Integrative Oncology Model of MD Anderson Cancer Center & Potential for Partnerships including the potential for Ayurveda Research Collaborations. The second presentation focused on the Global NCI Research-Training Program that supports collaborations with Low-and-Middle Income Countries (LMICs). The presentation also included an overview of the different global research training opportunities available at NCI and other institutes and centers at NIH. Both presentations included a broad discussion about what integration/collaboration between Western cancer care and Ayurveda might look like and potential opportunities for research/training projects pertaining to integrative oncology (Ayurveda and Western conventional oncology) by research centers and universities in the US, India and possibly other LMICs.

11/30/2021 Webinar: Entitled "Focus on Cancer and Traditional Medicine: Experiences from India".
Welcome and opening comments by Director General, CCRAS, N. Srikanth, Jeffrey White (OCCAM) and Alejandro Salicrup (Center for Global Health, NCI), followed by three scientific presentations and discussions on the following topics:

  1. Ayurveda in Cancer Care and Research in India (Manohar Gundeti, CCRAS)
  2. Experiences from Integrated Cancer Care and Treatment (Vinita Deshmukh, ICTRC)
  3. Experiences from tertiary cancer center (TMH) in the integrative management and research on cancer and potential for partnerships (Shripad Banavali, Tata Memorial Centre)

1/27/2022 Webinar: The third webinar of the series Thinking Together – A research-based dialog between NCI/OCCAM and CCRAS, India was held on January 27, 2022. It included a scientific presentation by Dr. Jun J. Mao, Laurance S. Rockefeller Chair in Integrative Medicine & Chief of the Integrative Medicine Service at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) entitled Research to Inform Evidence-based Integrative Oncology. Dr. Mao provided an overview of MSK's integrative medicine program and model for international collaborations. Dr. Mao discussed in detail his research using acupuncture as an example to make a case that research is important to support evidence-based growth of integrative oncology including the use of Ayurveda. The webinar also included a presentation by Dr. Vidya Vedham, Program Officer, Center for Global Health, NCI/NIH about NCI's Short-Term Scientist Exchange Program (STSEP). Both presentations were followed by extensive discussion involving researchers and practitioners from the U.S., India, Brazil and other LMICs.

4/28/2022 Webinar: Thinking Together - A research-based dialog between NCI/OCCAM and CCRAS, India

  • Welcome on behalf of OCCAM/DCTD-NCI and CCRAS: Dr. Jeffrey D. White & Dr. R. Acharya
  • Introduction to the webinar and speakers: Dr. Alejandro Salicrup, NCI/NIH
  • Scientific Presentation: Dr. Jennifer Ligibel and Dr. Weidong Lu, Dana Farber Cancer Center, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA- Design and Implementation of a Multi-National Acupuncture Intervention Clinical Trial
  • Q&A and Discussion
  • Program Presentation Dr. Alejandro Salicrup, Senior Advisor for Global Health Research, National Cancer Institute, NCI-NIH: NOSI Supplement on Global Integrative Oncology Research
  • Q&A and Discussion
  • Announcements & Next Steps
  • Adjourn

Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine (OCCAM) Symposium/Conference & Scientific Events

Mini Symposium: Evidence-based Traditional Medicine and Healthcare System in India-Special Reference to Cancer, May 3, 2016

India has formal education and regulated practice both for modern and traditional medicine. Present healthcare and public health systems in India are predominantly based on modern medicine. The Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy), government of India, serves the purpose of developing AYUSH education and research and emphasizes the importance of AYUSH within the Indian healthcare system.

Traditional practices like Ayurveda and Yoga are deep rooted in Indian culture and concurrently used for management of diseases including cancer. Systematic efforts on generating scientific evidence for safety and efficacy are underway. This symposium provided broad introduction to Indian healthcare system with a focus on cancer, and a primer on Ayurveda and Yoga highlighting their role in the management of cancer and other non-communicable diseases. Overall, the symposium presented an interesting glimpse of research initiatives and their translation in the areas of natural product drug discovery, network pharmacology, Ayurvedic biology, and personalized medicine.

The mini symposium was organized by Drs. Avrahan Rasooly and Aniruddha Ganguly, and chaired by Dr. Aniruddha Ganguly.

Mini Symposium Agenda:

  • Dr. Jeffrey D. White, Director, OCCAM, DCTD, NCI: Welcome
  • Dr. Bhushan Patwardhan (Savitribai Phule Pune University): Overview of Traditional Medicine and Healthcare in India
  • Dr. Namyata Pathak (AIM Swasthya): Ayurveda and Cancer
  • Dr. Avinash Patwardhan (George Mason University): Yoga and Cancer
  • Dr. Bhushan Patwardhan (Savitribai Phule Pune University): Evidence-based Traditional Medicine — Research Glimpses, research needs and areas of potential collaborations.
  • Discussion