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Last Updated: 5/17/11

Spring 2011, Vol. 6 Issue 1


New and Improved: The NCI’s Best Case Series Program now designated as a protocol

CRISP discuss the NCI Best Case Series.
From left to right, Cancer Research Training Award
fellow Jeans Santana, Dr. Farah Zia, and
Dr. Oluwadamilola Olaku discuss the
NCI Best Case Series.

A patient with cancer who has exhausted commonly prescribed options may have a treatment suggested to them by their doctor that is not traditionally indicated for cancer. The patient agrees to the therapy, takes it, and finds themselves significantly better, or even cured. Although the doctor thinks he may have a promising treatment on his hands, he most likely does not have the resources available to conduct a large clinical trial or engage in laboratory research. What can he do next? He can submit case reports of these patients to the NCI Best Case Series (BCS) Program, which has recently been approved as a protocol. This long-standing program was initially developed in 1991 in response to an evaluation by the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA), per request by the United States Congress. From 1991-1997, it was overseen by the NCI’s Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program of the Division of Cancer Treatment, Diagnosis, and Centers (DCTC). The objective was to assess cases that used alternative regimens to treat cancer and determine if there was enough evidence for NCI to support more research of the treatment, such as the initiation of a clinical trial. With the establishment of NCI’s Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine (OCCAM) in 1998, management of the program was transferred. Currently, it is under the direction of the Case Review and Intramural Science Program (CRISP) of the OCCAM. The Director of CRISP is Dr. Farah Zia and the CRISP Coordinator is Dr. Oluwadamilola Olaku. Dr. Zia is the Principal Investigator of the NCI BCS Program. Read More…

NCI CAM News is produced by the Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine (OCCAM). The Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine (OCCAM) was established in October 1998 to coordinate and support the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) activities related to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). OCCAM also serves as a focal point for NCI’s collaboration with other governmental and non-governmental organizations on cancer CAM issues.

For inquiries on CAM and cancer, call 1-800-4-CANCER or visit

Contact Information

Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine
9609 Medical Center Drive
Bethesda, Maryland 20892

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