Evaluating complementary and alternative therapies for cancer patients

  title={Evaluating complementary and alternative therapies for cancer patients},
  author={Barrie R. Cassileth},
  journal={CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians},
  • B. Cassileth
  • Published 1 November 1999
  • Medicine, Biology
  • CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians
“Complementary and alternative” therapies are actually a vast collection of disparate, unrelated regimens and products, ranging from adjunctive modalities that effectively enhance quality of life and promising antitumor herbal remedies now under investigation, to bogus therapies that claim to cure cancer and that harm not only directly, but also indirectly by encouraging patients to avoid or postpone effective cancer care. 
The use of complementary and alternative therapies in dogs and cats with cancer.
Complementary and alternative therapy use was commonplace, with 76% of surveyed owners reporting some use, and Nutritional supplements were the most commonly used therapy.
Biologically based therapies are commonly self-prescribed by Brazilian women for the treatment of advanced breast cancer or its symptoms
The overall use of CAM was not correlated with the scores on the anxiety, depression, and QOL scales, however, analysis of the association of the QOL scores with specific CAM modalities revealed some potential associations.
Alteration of the effects of cancer therapy agents on breast cancer cells by the herbal medicine black cohosh
The experiments described in this report used a well characterized mouse breast cancer cell line to ask whether commercially available extracts of black cohosh, an herb widely used by breast cancer patients, altered the response of cancer cells to radiation and to four drugs commonly used in cancer therapy.
Evidence-based Anticancer Materia Medica for Cervical Cancer
The continued popularity of herbal remedies worldwide suggests that evidence-based research in this field, as well as information regarding the potential efficacy and safety of phytochemical constituents in herbs is essential, particularly when CAM is used in combination with other drugs.
This review gives a comprehensive description of such medicinal plants which have been studied as potentially effective against cancer.
The placebo effect and randomized trials: analysis of alternative medicine.
  • M. Moyad
  • Medicine
    The Urologic clinics of North America
  • 2002
Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine Therapies to Control Symptoms in Women Living With Lung Cancer
It is found that CAM use is variable by symptom and may be an indicator of symptom burden, and women who were younger, experienced more symptoms, and lived on the West Coast or South (vs Northeast) were more likely to use CAM.
Complementary and Alternative Medicine Methods in Chronic Renal Failure
Nephrotoxic effect of several CAM therapies used in patients with renal impairment could disturb hemodynamics by reducing the glomerular filtration rate, so health care providers should question patients about used of CAM, methods.
The potential risks of alternative therapies in the treatment of cancer
  • Susan Holmes
  • Business
    The journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health
  • 2004
This review is not a place to find much consideration of research on mechanisms that influence food choice, preferences and consumption in children generally, and the concentration of research effort on television advertising may make the conclusions rapidly obsolete.


How should we research unconventional therapies? A panel report from the Conference on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Research Methodology, National Institutes of Health.
Despite the doubts of some practitioners, randomized trials are of value for determining certain questions in alternative medicine.
The Alternative Medicine Handbook: The Complete Reference Guide to Alternative and Complementary Therapies
This work shows the reader how to evaluate over 50 alternative therapies, from Ayurveda to homoeopathy to acupuncture, and warns against those that may be dangerous.
Phase I/II trial of the safety and efficacy of shark cartilage in the treatment of advanced cancer.
Under the specific conditions of this study, SC as a single agent was inactive in patients with advanced-stage cancer and had no salutary effect on quality of life.
Use of Alternative Therapies for Children With Cancer
Comparisons of the use of alternative therapy in families of children with cancer with its use in those with routine pediatric conditions found that AT was used more frequently among the families ofChildren with cancer.
A critique of the rationale for cancer treatment with coffee enemas and diet.
To make an effective contribution to the patient's understanding and decision-making process, the clinician must know whether the claims being made for the treatment are supported by scientific evidence and he or she must be able to discuss that evidence in language that is understood by the patient.
The use of alternative therapies by children with cancer
  • M. Sawyer
  • Medicine, Psychology
    The Medical journal of Australia
  • 1994
A substantial proportion of children with cancer use alternative therapies and the use of these therapies is often not discussed with the children's medical practitioners, suggesting a continuing need to consider how to better provide those elements of their children's care which parents currently seek from alternative therapies.
Safety issues in herbal medicine: implications for the health professions
It may be necessary to develop a separate database to promote adverse drug reaction reporting for herbal medicine and the wider field of complementary and alternative medicine.
Chaparral ingestion. The broadening spectrum of liver injury caused by herbal medications.
The case of a 60-year-old woman who took chaparral for 10 months and developed severe hepatitis for which no other cause could be found suggests that Chaparral can cause serious liver injury and fulminant hepatic failure.