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Last Updated: 11/9/12


Integrative Cancer Care Among Topics at Continental Conference

In May 2009, over 790 health care professionals – both CAM and conventional – and researchers from 24 countries met in Minneapolis, Minnesota for the North American Research Conference on Complementary and Integrative Medicine (NARCCIM). This four-day conference was sponsored by the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine, which consists of 42 leading academic medical centers from across North America. The desired result for the event was to provide an environment for new collaborations to develop and established ones to grow.

The plenary talks, poster sessions, and keynote speeches covered a spectrum of integrative medicine research areas: basic science, clinical, methodological, health services, and education.

Presentations on integrative cancer care were abundant at NARCCIM. On the third day of the conference, a symposium titled “Integrative Medicine in Cancer Care” examined topics such as statistics on and reasons for CAM use, current knowledge on the impact of diet and supplements on cancer prevention and treatment, mind-body interventions and the effect of stress on disease outcomes, and complexities in cancer CAM research and ethics. Speakers for the symposium included the following: Moshe Frenkel, M.D., Eran Ben-Arye, M.D., Stephen Sagar, M.D., Donald Abrams, M.D., Mary Hardy, M.D., Lorenzo Cohen, Ph.D., Marja Verhoef, Ph.D., Elad Schiff, M.D., Jillian Capodice, L.Ac., Shachar Lev Ari, Ph.D., and George Lewith, M.D.

Other cancer CAM presentations included:

  • “CAM is part of who I am”: Framing the Decision to Use CAM Within Cancer Care
  • The Effect of Therapeutic Touch on Osteosarcoma Cells
  • Cancer Treatment from a Complexity Science Perspective
  • Building a Library of Authenticated Medicinal Plants to Systematically Evaluate Their Extracts and Fractions for Anti-Cancer Properties
  • Online Narrative Interventions for Aging Cancer Patients: A Feasibility Study
  • A Systematic Review of Epidemiological Studies on the Prevalence of CAM Use by Pediatric Cancer Patients

In addition to sessions on CAM’s application to a variety of diseases, the conference agenda included sessions on writing grant applications and experiential sessions of tai chi and yoga.

Practice Assessment Program Coordinator Commander (USPHS) Colleen Lee, M.S., CRNP, AOCN ®, said this about the meeting, "The key to success for this conference was the intertwining of academia, clinical practice, and research. The forum for sharing a vision in integrative medicine is unmatched elsewhere."

The conference takes place every three years. The location and date of the next NARCCIM have not yet been announced.

OCCAM Director Attends Globalization of Chinese Medicine Annual Meeting

The Consortium for Globalization of Chinese Medicine (CGCM) held its annual meeting in Nottingham, England on August 26-28, 2009. The aim of the CGCM is to promote and globalize Chinese herbal medicine by sharing knowledge from academic, industrial, and regulatory bodies worldwide. The 2009 meeting was the 8th meeting of the Consortium, which now is composed of scientists from over ninety academic centers and biomedical companies around the world.

OCCAM Director, Jeffrey D. White, M.D. attended the meeting as Chairman of the Workshop Discussion Session: Clinical Trial I (Cancer and Liver Inflammation). This session included a plenary lecture and discussion of abstracts submitted to the session. “I described the NCI’s CAM research activities, focusing on those related to the evaluation of aspects of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and our recent meeting exploring research on botanicals in cancer research. Many of the members of this consortium are researching natural products with anti-cancer activities, which makes this meeting one of the few venues for the presentation of new findings in that field,” said Dr. White.

The meeting was successful in showcasing research and development in the area of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Key topics included: international collaborations, education, regulatory affairs, clinical trials in TCM, quality control, biological activities and mechanisms, herbal resources, and bioinformatics and databases. Other National Institutes of Health (NIH) meeting participants included National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine Director Dr. Josephine Briggs, who chaired a plenary session, and Dr. Paul Coates, director of NIH’s Office of Dietary Supplements. Dr. Shaw Chen, associate director & botanical team leader in the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, also attended the meeting. The meeting ultimately served as a platform for the extension of international collaboration and cooperation in Chinese medicine between worldwide partner organizations including academic, government and industry groups.

For more information about the Consortium for Globalization of Chinese Medicine, visit the Web site at:

Two OCCAM Staff Members Present at Cancer Guides II Conference

OCCAM Director Jeffrey D. White, M.D., and Research Development and Support Program Director Isis Mikhail, M.D., M.P.H., Dr.P.H., recently attended the Cancer Guides™ II 2009 Cutting Edge Integrative Cancer Care conference. The four-day conference, held June 11-14, 2009, covered many facets of integrative oncology with opportunities for learning, break out discussions, and workshops. Topics included: survivorship, complementary and alternative therapies, research, grant funding, integrative cancer care approaches, nutrition, dietary supplements, and end of life issues. Suggested conference attendees included: oncologists, nurses and nurse practitioners, patient advocates, CAM practitioners, dietitians and nutritionists, and cancer survivors.

Dr. White gave a presentation titled “Integrative Oncology: Thoughts Regarding Future Development,” in which he discussed OCCAM’s role in integrative oncology and cited NCI and other OCCAM-funded research. The conference also provided an opportunity to highlight the NCI Best Case Series Program and to encourage conference participants to submit to the series.

Dr. Mikhail spoke about applying for grant funding from NCI for research surrounding CAM and cancer. Dr. Mikhail also hosted a round table discussion where interested participants could speak to her more in depth about grant funding. “Many of the participants had never received grants training before, so I was able to answer lots of questions about the process,” Dr. Mikhail stated.

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