S10: CAM and CANCER: Communicating the Research Status to Healthcare Professionals and Patients

Barbara Wider1,2, Vinjar Fonnebo1, Markus Horneber3

1National Research Center in Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NAFKAM), Norway; 2Peninsula Medical School, Exeter, United Kingdom; 3Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Oncology/Hematology, Klinikum Nuernberg, Comprehensive Cancer Center Erlangen/Nuernberg, Germany


Background:  CAM is frequently used by cancer patients all over the world and healthcare providers are often faced with questions about it. Reliable information on its safety and efficacy based on the latest research is paramount for decision making. To fill the existing information gap and make this information easily accessible to healthcare professionals, the “CAM-Cancer project” was set up. Supported by an international network of CAM and/or cancer experts, it has developed an authoritative online resource freely available on its project website at www.cam-cancer.org

Aim:The symposium aims to familiarize participants with CAM-Cancer and how it can contribute to evidence-based cancer care. Methods: Presentations on the background, aims, content, methods, findings and future of the CAM-Cancer project will be given. There will be opportunities for questions and feedback.

Brief description:  Originally funded by the European Commission, CAM-Cancer is now being expanded into THE authoritative information resource for CAM and cancer. Hosted by the National Research Center in Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NAFKAM) at the University of Tromso in Norway, the project is entirely non-profit and receives no commercial funding. It is led by an international panel of experts in cancer care and/or CAM research, and supported by a network of professionals and cancer organizations. Project aims are 1)to develop and sustain an international authoritative network around CAM and cancer and 2) to provide summarized and synthesized evidence-based information drawing on the current research status about the efficacy and safety of CAM for cancer. The information is presented as “CAM-summaries” which are published on the project’s website www.cam-cancer.org. CAM-summaries aim to summarize facts and the latest research on CAM for cancer, and provide clear statements for health professionals. They are short and concise documents presenting background information (names; treatment description; ingredients; application and dosage; history/providers; claims of efficacy; mechanisms of action; alleged indications; prevalence of use; legal issues; costs and expenditures) as well as an appraisal of the evidence of efficacy and safety. CAM-summaries are peer-reviewed and annually updated. The fully documented and published editorial process ensures that CAM summaries are written in an independent and non-judgmental way to maximize their use amongst health professionals. It also guarantees that the summaries are fully evidence-based. The professional CAM-Cancer summaries are translated into patient versions which are published on its partner website www.reliablecancertherapies.com.

Conclusion:Participants will learn about the project and how they can get involved. There will be opportunity to provide feedback and ask questions.