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From the President

In this newswire:

Dear SIO Members and Friends, 

I hope you are enjoying this spring weather as I am here in New York City. It’s so refreshing to see nature green and flowering again. SIO is growing, too, as I will share below.  

I am thrilled to announce the conference registration is now open! Please take advantage of the Early Bird rates for this hybrid event and register today. For those who can attend in person, we look forward to seeing you at the Baltimore Renaissance Harborplace Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland, September 24-26, 2021. Due to COVID-19 physical distancing regulations, in-person attendees may be limited, so please register early. 

If you plan to attend virtually, please register now as well for the best rate. We especially welcome our international members and attendees, who may attend the International Pre-Conference Workshop at no additional charge. New international members receive a lower registration rate as well. Our Global Task Force is planning content for an International Conference Track with virtual programming geared to engage our colleagues from around the world. 

The abstract submissions portal closes on May 10, 2021, and our Scientific Review Committee, led by Gabriel Lopez, MD, and Michael Wargovich, PhD, looks forward to reading your submissions. You can find the conference program, which will evolve as add workshops and posters, here, with information on pre-conference workshops to come. If you register for in-person attendance, workshops are included in registration price.

Our next step is to provide details about this year’s conference scholarship applications, so please stay tuned and check your inbox. 

The deadline to apply for the New Investigator Forum is May 21, 2021. Please scroll down for more information on eligibility and application information. Eugene Ahn, MD, and Anita Kinney, PhD, RN, will lead this year’s forum.

On May 6, 2021, the SIO Board of Trustees and Committee, Task Force and Special Interest Group Co-Chairs met for a virtual Mini Board Retreat. Many thanks to our staff at Hauck & Associates for this successful, four hour retreat. I began with an encouraging report of excellent Board member engagement since last October and reviewed SIO 2021 goals for membership, advancement, international expansion, and health equity. Below is a screenshot of our meeting.

Highlights of meeting include the discussion led by the Health Equity & Inclusion Task Force on SIO core values, examining our own biases and privileges, exploring JEDI training (Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion), and ways SIO can take action. We want to lead by example, build trust, and dismantle barriers to equitable integrative cancer care and research engagement. Our next steps involve publishing a health equity mission statement, assessing diversity and inclusion with SIO, beginning first with the Task Force, then the Board of Trustees, and lastly, our members. Based on the great discussion we had, we are identifying pathways to receive training on healthcare inequities, anti-racism, and modeling inclusive patient care.

Another highlight is the upcoming summer Wellness Wednesdays, a 14-week series reprising last year’s model of a weekly lunch hour speaker presentation alongside a pre-recorded experiential integrative wellness session. Yoga SIG Co-Chair, Leigh Leibel, MSc, has created a Memorial Day-to-Labor Day schedule that reflects SIO’s priority of supporting health equity and amplifying voices not usually heard in integrative oncology research and clinical care. Look for more information soon!

The retreat offered the opportunity to foster discussion and collaboration between SIO entities, combining forces to produce well-rounded actions. Thank you to all our co-chairs, many of whom are also Board members, for your attendance, the work behind your reports, and the harmony of ideas, moving goals off the paper and into our working relationships. The final discussion explored the topic of establishing integrative medicine programs at cancer centers, and the challenges of providing integrative care patients want within constraints of health system budgets, physical space, and care coordination. As Linda Carlson, PhD, RPsych, our next president, said after the closing meditation, we are grateful for the community, respect and teamwork among the leadership of SIO.

Congratulations to the SIO Online Task Force on the April 14, 2021 open access publication in the journal Supportive Care in Cancer titled, “The Society for Integrative Oncology Practice Recommendations for online consultation and treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic.” The Task Force’s eight international members include Dr. Gunver Sophia Kienle of the University of Frieburg in Germany. Dr. Kienle reached out to the chief editor of the Journal of the German Medical Association (JGMA) about the Task Force publication. In response, the JGMA, which prints 382,000 issues weekly, interviewed Dr. Kienle about the practice recommendations. The interview has been published online here in German. Dr. Kienle notes this journal is the best way to reach physicians in Germany to share the important work of SIO. At last week's retreat, we discussed ways to maximize the impact of this international attention as the pandemic continues and as telehealth interventions are here to stay.

I hope you are as excited as I am about all the events and activities we are planning through the work of our committees, task forces and special interest groups


Ting Bao, MD, DABMA, MS
President, Society for Integrative Oncology
Director, Integrative Breast Oncology
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

New Investigator Forum
Integrative Oncology Research Methods
Application Deadline: May 21, 2021

Overview:  The Society for Integrative Oncology (SIO) is committed to developing talented young investigators in integrative oncology with its New Investigator Forum on Integrative Oncology Research Methods. We are accepting New Investigator Forum applications for the 18th International Conference that will be held in Baltimore, Maryland from September 24-26. Open to advanced doctoral students, postdoctoral trainees and junior faculty, a selected group of scholars will be chosen to meet with internationally recognized leaders in the field and present their research for discussion and constructive feedback. The research may be in its planning stages or work in progress that is not yet completed.

Purpose: Provide students, trainees and junior faculty with an opportunity to have planned research or research in progress reviewed, discussed and critiqued in a supportive environment by experienced and highly regarded integrative oncology experts who have varied clinical and scientific expertise.

Eligibility: Applicants may be: 1) doctoral students who are working on any phase of their dissertation, or: 2) postdoctoral trainees or faculty who are within the first three years of their first academic appointment, or who are new to integrative oncology research and working on any phase of their research project from design to analysis. Participants’ research designs may be correlative or interventional.

Description: Participants will attend a 3-hour forum in a small group setting consisting of experts and trainees/junior faculty in integrative oncology where ideas, information, feedback and guidance will be exchanged. The forum will be held the first day of the SIO International Conference on Friday, September 24, 2021 from approximately 8:00 am – 11:00 am Eastern. New investigator participants will receive a waiver of the conference fee and reimbursement up to $1,500 for related travel and accommodation expenses. All expenses are subject the SIO Travel Policy and must be submitted with the SIO reimbursement form and accompanied by receipts.     

Application Instructions:

There is no formal application form. Applicants are required to submit the following six items as a single pdf document to

1.  A cover page that includes the applicant’s name, status (doctoral student planning or implementing dissertation/thesis project, postdoctoral trainee, junior faculty), department, institution, mailing address, email address and phone number. 
2.  Name, title and email address of your primary mentor or principal investigator with whom you are working (for doctoral students and post-doctorals only).
3.  Title of the research project.
4.  Two-page description of the research project, double-spaced. Up to two additional pages of tables and/or figures may be included. The two-page description should indicate the project’s current status – planned, data collection in progress, data collection complete and analysis in progress, etc. The description should include a summary of one or more project-specific methodological issues for discussion at the forum. 
5.  A curriculum vitae.
6.  A half-page personal statement stating why the investigator is interested in integrative medicine research and why this project is important to the investigator.

Application deadline: May 21, 2021

If you have questions about the workshop, please contact Erika Freundel at

Successful applicants will be notified in June.

Register now for this free May 21st webinar, a joint effort by SIO Global Task Force Co-Chair, Eran Ben-Arye, MD, of Haifa, Israel, and Faraja Cancer Support Trust of Nairobi, Kenya. (2pm East Africa Time/7am ET US) @FarajaTrust #integrativeonc 

Register here. 

University of Cincinnati Center for Integrative Health and Wellness: Seeking experienced Research Director

The University of Cincinnati Center for Integrative Health and Wellness is seeking an experienced Research Director to expand integrative and lifestyle medicine research with a focus on integrative oncology. More information here.
The last two decades have seen a significant increase in dietary supplement use by cancer patients. Despite the proliferation of Web sites that contain information about dietary supplements, finding a reliable source can be overwhelming. The Integrative Medicine Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center developed and maintains a free Web site “About Herbs” ( that provides objective and unbiased information about herbs, vitamins, minerals and other dietary supplements, and unproven anticancer treatments.  Each of the 286 and growing number of entries has healthcare professional and patient versions that are regularly updated with the latest research findings. The free About Herbs App, compatible with iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch devices, can be downloaded at
The edible bulb of the Allium sativum plant, garlic is an important culinary component used around the world. It also has a long history of medicinal use for treating infections, chronic cough, digestive disorders, and arthritis. The supplemental forms of garlic are promoted for controlling high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and for treating the common cold as well as diseases including cancer.

Consumption of garlic has been associated with reduced risk of certain cancers, but there is no evidence that it can treat cancer. Data of garlic’s effectiveness in lowering high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol are not definitive. Conclusive data are also lacking to support its use for preventing or treating the common cold.
The FDA has warned companies promoting garlic with false claims of preventing COVID-19 … link to monograph.

Show Your Support of SIO

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.
Your Support Benefits Integrative Medicine Everywhere!
Donate HERE
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