Kenmore, Wash. (October 8, 2012) — Bastyr University's oncology research is building evidence for the value of integrative medicine in fighting the nation's deadliest cancers.
Four Bastyr researchers will present new findings to the Society for Integrative Oncology at its ninth International Conference in Albuquerque, N.M., from Oct. 8-10. The non-profit organization collects and disseminates knowledge about complementary therapies and botanical medicines for cancer patients.
"We know that many natural remedies have cancer-fighting and immunity-strengthening qualities," says Leanna J. Standish, PhD, ND, LAc, FABNO, medical director of the Bastyr Integrative Oncology Research Center. "Our clinical studies are providing empirical evidence that will help reshape cancer care as we know it."
Bastyr's commitment to integrative medicine has helped it bridge the worlds of modern medicine and traditional and naturopathic medicine. The university was the first naturopathic institution to receive National Institutes of Health (NIH) research funding. Much of its current oncology research is funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, part of NIH.
"The medical community rightly expects scientific documentation for botanical therapies, even ones used for centuries," says Dr. Standish. "Our studies in collaboration with the University of Washington and others are helping to build that evidence."
The Bastyr findings that will be presented include:
Dr. Standish will provide updates on a Bastyr/UW collaboration on Polysaccharide Krestin (PSK), an extract from the mushroom Trametes versicolor (Turkey Tail), which is approved in Japan as a cancer immune therapy. In vitro and in vivo pre-clinical studies validate PSK's anti-cancer potency and immune-enhancing actions. The Bastyr/UW Oncomycology Translational Research Center will open two PSK clinical trials in advanced prostate and breast cancer in fall 2012.
Medicinal mushroom supplements are used globally for their immune-stimulating properties. Dr. Coy's work finds discrepancies in the content of popular supplements and helps pave the way toward standardized production methods.
Dr. Anderson will present research outcomes on complementary and alternative (CAM) treatments for patients with advanced cancers. This data gives more than three years of outcomes across a number of novel intravenous CAM therapies. It also outlines promising future directions in this growing field.
Dr. Sweet investigated the interactions among hormonally active CAM (HCAM) therapies and hormone replacement therapies in women with ovarian cancer. She found that patients using a combination of HCAM and HRT may experience earlier cancer recurrence than those using HCAM or HRT alone. She will discuss the need for further research on how hormone supplementation may affect clinical outcomes in ovarian cancer.
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