Happy November! Who can believe we just have two months left in 2022? The snow is flying here, so I was happy to attend the very successful SIO 2022 Conference in sunny Scottsdale Arizona, Oct 19-22. I hope you too were able to join either in person or virtually. It was a wonderful occasion with such good energy and excitement to be together again.
Here are some of the highlights. A total of 196 traveled to Scottsdale, AZ, to be with us in person, and 120 more joined us virtually. SIO was able to allocate $50,000 to support scholarships for 68 applicants to attend the conference, 28 in-person and 40 virtually. During the conference, SIO gained 109 Instagram followers, thanks to the efforts of our Communications Director, Morgan Denault, and Konstantina Stylianou, DAOM, LAc, of Cyprus, a member of both the SIO Communications Committee and Global Task Force. All the session recordings are now available to all conference registrants on the conference website.
On Wednesday, October 19th, the SIO Board of Trustees and co-chairs of SIO committees, task forces and special interest groups (SIGs) met for the annual Fall Board Retreat, a day-long meeting during which we hear reports from each entity and discuss goals, themes, and strategic plans for SIO’s future. Here we are in the photo below, joined by PhD candidate Oluwabanke “Banke” Adewusi from Lagos, Nigeria, whom we welcomed as a first-time in person attendee, presenter and researcher.
Congrats to Ms. Adewusi, who also won the Twitter contest with over 80 tweets during the conference, Steve Dudley, MD, and Nasha Winters, ND, FABNO, our 2nd and 3rd place finishers, respectively. It’s great that one of our Twitter winners (Steve) was even a virtual attendee!
Early Thursday morning, several of us climbed all 2,704 feet of Camelback Mountain (rated as a double black diamond even), enjoying beautiful desert scenery and each other’s company.
After I read the Land Acknowledgement Statement and thanked our co-hosting institutions, Mayo Clinic and Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center, I introduced Dr Carlos Gonzalez, Assistant Dean of Curricular Affairs, Associate Professor of the University of Arizona Family and Community Medicine, and Director of the Rural Health Professionals Program & Commitment to Underserved People Program.
Dr. Gonzalez gave a traditional blessing as a member of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, invoking blessings from the four directions, the sky above and the earth below to give us mindful, grounded, and humble interactions during the conference that will benefit the larger community of people with cancer and those who work to improve their lives through evidence-based integrative oncology.
See Dr. Carlos Gonzalez, SIO Treasurer Dr. Ana Maria Lopez, and Dr. Anna Landau in the photo above.
Thursday evening, following an engaging poster reception punctuated by many hugs and excited reunions, we hosted a Tribute Event honoring SIO’s founding president, Barrie Cassileth, PhD, featuring memories recounted by past presidents David Rosenthal, MD; Donald Abrams, MD; Gary Deng, MD, PhD, and mentee of Dr. Cassileth, Richard T. Lee, MD. Ting Bao, MD, MS, also a mentee and SIO’s Immediate Past President, organized and moderated the event. We enjoyed video montages from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Integrative Medicine Service, which Dr Cassileth founded, as well as family photos from the Cassileth family set to Dr. Cassileth’s favorite music, including the song, “Let It Be.” After the event, Dr. Cassileth’s daughter, expressed the family’s appreciation as below:
Dear Ting and Gary,
It is difficult to put into words how moving and emotional last night was. Just incredible to hear the kind, interesting, and funny reflections of so many distinguished colleagues.
Ting, I cannot adequately express my gratitude at your meticulous, thoughtful organization and planning. The videos were touching and wonderful. And yes, I did have an entire box of tissues at my fingertips the entire time – a necessity.
So exciting to witness the launch of the new memorial scholarship and to see the faces of the first recipients. What a great night it was. I heard from so many family and friends who watched and were incredibly moved and excited to see Mom recognized and celebrated in this way.
On behalf of Mom’s entire family, please accept our deepest gratitude.
With appreciation always and warmest regards,
Jodi C. Greenspan
After the tribute, we announced the establishment of the Dr. Barrie Cassileth New investigator Scholarship supporting annual new investigator forum awardees. The forum is a three-hour mentoring session with SIO experts in integrative oncology research conducted at each SIO conference. Congratulations to the four inaugural Dr. Barrie Cassileth Scholars, Emma Wong, PhD Candidate (Australia), Blake Langley, MD, MS, LAc (Seattle, WA), Jason Lam, MPharm (Hong Kong), and Robert Knoerl, PhD, RN (Ann Arbor, MI).
Many thanks to our Sunset Soirée planners Betsy Glosik, Arlene Kuturoff, and Julie Deleemans, PhD. This evening exceeded expectations, as we walked the grounds of Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright’s desert architectural laboratory and fellowship school at sunset, enjoyed beautiful views, gourmet food, the music of violinist Jonathan Levingston, and connected with fellow attendees. The setting sun cast a peaceful glow on the hillside, and thanks to the work of our patient advocate planners, docents were on hand to educate us about how Mr. Wright designed the school as if it rose from the desert.
Cancer survivor, Jodi MacLeod also shared her experience of aromatase-inhibitor induced joint and muscle pain as well as the role patient advocates can play in dissemination of these and other guidelines.
Many thanks to our keynote speakers, Dr Floyd “Ski” Chilton, Dr. Lorenzo Cohen, Dr. Edward Creagan, Dr. Linda Rapson (Dr. Rogers Prize luncheon speaker) and Dr Claudia Witt. Please search the hashtag #SIO2022 on Twitter for pictures, summaries and tweets on these and other speakers. We are grateful as well to all our plenary speakers for your impactful presentations which engaged us in conversation about health equity, survivorship needs, nutrition, and other important topics.
And finally, thank you to the Conference Co-Chairs, Denise Millstine, MD, of Mayo Clinic, and Santosh Rao, MD, ABOIM, of University Hospitals and SIO President-Elect, for the stellar job of pulling this conference together in less than a year. Many thanks to our Scientific Review Committee Co-Chairs, Eugene Ahn, MD, and John Camoriano, MD, and committee members, as well as to the SIO 2022 Planning Committee.
And now, onward to planning the 20th International SIO Conference and SIO 20th Anniversary celebration in Banff, Alberta, in my neck of the woods. Stay tuned for more information as we invite speakers and create the program around the theme, “Integrative Oncology as Standard of Care: The Time is Now.”
One of the membership benefits discussed during the Board Retreat is the integrative oncology clinical research grant pathway for SIO members with Gateway for Cancer Research. A new cycle began November 2, 2022, for submission of Letters of Intent to apply for a full grant. https://gatewaycr.smapply.org/
Take a look below at a new feature of this Newswire: SIG of the Month, where we highlight the work of an SIO Special Interest Group. To begin, we list the current SIGs, and encourage our members to get involved. Joining SIGs is a member benefit, so feel free to reach out about any you want to join.
Do you have suggestions or feedback for SIO? Complete this brief survey, which we shared at the conference. This is separate from the post-conference survey, which has already been sent out. We want to know your thoughts about SIO.
I know this was a long read this month; congrats for sticking it out and learning more about SIO and our fabulous conference! Enjoy the month and Happy Thanksgiving to our American colleagues.
All the best to you and yours,
Linda E. Carlson, Ph.D., R.Psych. Enbridge Research Chair in Psychosocial Oncology
Professor, Department of Oncology, Cumming School of Medicine
Co-Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Psychosocial Oncology Research and Practice (official journal of the International Psycho-Oncology Society)
President, Society for Integrative Oncology
SIG of the Month
What is a SIG? The term, “SIG” is the acronym for “Special Interest Group.” Within SIO, as stated in the SIO Standard Operating Procedures, Section 11, “The Board of Trustees, from time to time, may create special interest groups (SIGs), designed to facilitate members’ sharing studies, information, and activities within the particular interest areas of the groups. The purpose and activity of such SIGs must be consistent with the mission of SIO.”
Current SIO SIGs
Acupuncture SIG Co-chairs:
Susan Veleber, DACM, MS, LAc
Matthew Weitzman, MS, LAc
Nursing SIG Co-chairs:
Lynda Balneaves, PhD, RN
Susan Yaguda, RN, MSN
Program Management & Development SIG Co-chairs:
Michelle Bombacie, MS
Irene Martyniuk, OMD, LAc
Yoga SIG Co-chairs:
Tina Walter, C-IAYT
Tina Paul MS, C-IAYT, E-RYT500
Next month, we will share the process of creating an SIO SIG. Currently, the Board is awaiting the application for a Patient Advocate SIG, and is aware of interest in a Molecular Oncology SIG. We are also searching for members and a co-chair for the Pediatric Oncology SIG.
The Society for Integrative Oncology: Two Decades of Global Leadership in Evidence-Based Integrative Health Care
The first column by SIO Leadership in the Journal of Integrative and Complementary Medicine (JICM), features the latest expert column, "The Society for Integrative Oncology: Two Decades of Global Leadership in Evidence-Based Integrative Health Care". The paper is available Open Access from November 3rd through the 17th, 2022 online here.
SIO Brief Survey
Do you have suggestions or feedback for SIO? Complete this brief survey, which we shared at the conference. We want to know your thoughts about SIO. This is separate from the post-conference survey, which has already been sent out.
A perennial plant, Rhodiola rosea grows at high altitudes in the Arctic regions of Europe and Asia. It is used in traditional medicine for improving physical and mental performance. Rhodiola has become increasingly popular in supplemental forms to enhance energy, relieve stress and to stimulate the immune system. Small clinical studies reported rhodiola to increase physical endurance, mental performance and to lower fatigue associated with stress. Exploratory studies suggest that it may also benefit patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and those with mild-to-moderate depression. Salidroside, a bioactive compound of rhodiola, demonstrated cardioprotective effects in breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. Larger studies are needed to confirm these effects ... link to our monograph.
The last two decades have seen a significant increase in dietary supplement use by cancer patients. Despite the proliferation of websites that contain information about dietary supplements, finding a reliable source can be overwhelming. The Integrative Medicine Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering developed and maintains a free website “About Herbs” (www.mskcc.org/aboutherbs) that provides objective and unbiased information about herbs, vitamins, minerals and other dietary supplements, and unproven anticancer treatments. Each of the 290 and growing number of entries has healthcare professional and patient versions that are regularly updated with the latest research findings.
Join over 500 colleagues and patients who downloaded the new Android version of the About Herbs app. For iOS devices, download at App Store.
SIO welcomes your support of our Society, which helps us develop projects and educational programs to realize our mission of advancing evidence-based, comprehensive, integrative healthcare to improve the lives of people affected by cancer.
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