Welcome to July, and full-on summer for many of us. Our summers are short but glorious in the Canadian Rockies, and we take full advantage of the outdoor opportunities that come our way. My dog and I love to paddleboard, although sometimes he tries to knock me right off!
With the end of the academic year also comes planning for the next one, and for us at SIO we are busy putting the finishing touches on our 2022 Arizona conference, and believe it or not are in full planning mode for 2023 (Banff) and 2024 (Los Angeles/Irvine) already! We also have something special in the works for 2025, but are not yet able to formally announce it (hint: many of you may have to cross an ocean!). Watch this space for the exciting details as they unfold…
Thank you to each of you who submitted abstracts for review and inclusion in this year’s conference program and poster presentations. Thank you to our Scientific Review Committee Co-chairs Eugene Ahn, MD, and John Camoriano, MD, and their team, and to Erika Freundel, our conference lead staff member, for your thorough and intensive work. If you received an acceptance notification, congratulations, and please register for the conference now at early bird rates! We look forward to seeing you in Arizona this fall, I’m really looking forward to it!
As we add the oral abstracts to the conference program, we also want you to know that scholarship applications are being accepted until August 31. Anyone with financial need can apply for these, and we especially encourage our patient advocates to do so! Also, the call for New Investigator Award applications has just gone out, and we encourage early-career researchers to apply for this mentoring forum during which awardees will have an opportunity to present their research and receive valuable feedback from Ting Bao, MD, DABMA, MS, SIO’s Immediate Past-President, and Eugene Ahn, MD, SIO Board member, Co-chair of the Scientific Review Committee, and Co-chair of the SIO Communications Committee.
Don’t forget the evening events, as a special memorial is planned for the first evening, Thursday, October 20, to celebrate the life of SIO’s late founding president, Barrie Cassileth, PhD. This is a joint effort between SIO and Memorial Sloan Kettering Integrative Medicine Center, which Dr. Cassileth also founded. The evening will conclude with a look back over the history of SIO and forward to the twentieth anniversary celebration at the September 13-16, 2023 conference in Banff, Alberta.
On the second evening, SIO is planning a sunset experience at Taliesin West, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the late Frank Lloyd Wright’s “desert laboratory.” Look for more information on the conference website soon.
As always, we welcome more conference sponsors and exhibitors to join us in Scottsdale for an opportunity to interact with our international attendees who represent multiple disciplines in integrative medicine and cancer care, as well as patient advocates. Please see this year’s prospectus for customizable options and feel free to send around to your contacts.
I have realized that an important priority for our society at this stage of our growth (and one of mine as President) is building partnerships and collaborating with other like-minded organizations, in order to achieve our mission more broadly. In that vein, our committee members and SIGs have been busy of late. The SIO Yoga SIG participated in the Symposium for Yoga Therapy and Research (SYTAR) on June 8-12, 2022, in Chicago, IL. SIO and IAYT (International Association of Yoga Therapists), which hosted the hybrid event, have an agreement for cross-promotion of conferences, and SIO/Yoga SIG had a 1/4 page advertisement in the program. During the event, 48 people expressed interest in joining SIO and Yoga SIG, and 31 people attended the Yoga SIG workshop titled, "Role of Yoga Therapy Across the Breast Cancer Continuum - Creating a Safe, Inclusive, Evidence-informed Practice." The Yoga SIG and its members also presented a second workshop and staffed an SIO exhibitor table. Congratulations to Leigh Leibel, M.Sc., C-IAYT, ACSM-CET; Kelli Bethel, DPT, PT; Marsha Banks-Harold, BSEE, C-IAYT; Rebecca Leary, NMT, RYT500, C-IAYT; Nancy Sinton, E-RYT 500, C-IAYT, MBA and the Yoga SIG for this excellent work to advance the integration of yoga therapy into standard cancer care.
Several members of the SIO Patient Advocate Committee also attended the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS) Cancer Policy and Advocacy Team (CPAT) Symposium in Washington, D.C. June 22-24, 2022. The committee worked with NCCS and Ana Maria Lopez, MD, MPH, FACP, (SIO Treasurer and NCCS Board Member) to develop an integrative oncology session titled, “Integrative Oncology: Empowering through Evidence and Equity.” Dr. Lopez spoke first on integrative oncology and was followed by Lesely Kailani Glenn and Desirée Walker, who spoke from patient experience about the benefits of integrative medicine and research. The audience included 45 cancer survivors/patient advocates and six medical students from the CUPID program. A highlight of the symposium was the interaction between survivors and med students which enabled five SIO patient advocate attendees to educate future oncologists about the importance of patient-centered care and integrative oncology.
A number of SIO members also attended the International Congress for Integrative Medicine and Health in Phoenix at the end of May (myself; SIO President-Elect, Santosh Rao, MD, ABOIM, University Hospitals, Cleveland; Past SIO President Suzie Zick, ND, MPH, of University of Michigan; Rich Lee, MD, at City of Hope; Julie Deleemans, PhD, of University of Calgary, and others), and promoted SIO and our activities broadly to the Academic Consortium membership, which includes leaders in Integrative Medicine across the USA and Internationally. SIO and the Consortium exchanged conference sponsorships, so we will have the opportunity to welcome their representatives who will be joining us in Scottsdale this October. Santosh and I also attended a special dinner event with our partner journal, Journal of Integrative and Complementary Medicine, to solidify our new partnership. Details of the partnership are here, in case you have not yet taken advantage of the reduced subscription rates.
All of these collaborations and sponsorships are important for us as an organization, to reach health care providers more broadly and share our mission to advance evidence-based, comprehensive, integrative healthcare to improve the lives of people affected by cancer. As always, I applaud and thank you for your important work, and hope you get a chance to get out and enjoy whatever delights your region has to offer during these (hopefully) quieter months.
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
Have you listened to the latest Integrative Oncology Talk podcast? SIO President-Elect Santosh Rao, MD, ABOIM speaks with Jennifer McQuade, MD, MS, MA, LAc, about the microbiome, its effect on health, and how changes in the microbiome can affect both cancer and a patient’s response to cancer treatment. Check it out here.
Catch up on SIO Webinars
LGBTQ Equity in Cancer Care and a Patient Advocate Experience
The recording of LGBTQ Equity in Cancer Care and a Patient Advocate Experience is available now on the SIO Youtube Channel. Moderated by Rebecca Leary Safon, a SIO Yoga SIG Member and a passionate activist in the LGBTQ / DEI space, presentations by Dr. Scout and Dr. Mandi Pratt-Chapman on LGBTQ equity in cancer care and a patient advocate experience by Daniel Garza, this is one you'll want to watch!
Healing and Community Building Through African Drumming
Music and the drum are healing, and part of the Black family experience. Ancestral teachings were passed down through families through practices like drumming. During this webinar, we explored the history of the African drum, or “djembe” and the evidence for its use as a way to connect with others, build resilience, and maintain health and longevity. We ended with a live demonstration of African drumming by Mel D. Mann!
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” (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 289 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 http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/about-herbs/id554267162?mt=8.
Graviola is a tree widespread in the rain forests of South America, Africa and Southeast Asia. Its fruit, commonly known as soursop, is consumed as food. Graviola has a long history of medicinal use for treating inflammatory conditions, diabetes, hypertension, insomnia, parasitic infections, and cancer. It is also widely promoted as an alternative cancer treatment despite lack of supportive data.
Annonaceous acetogenins, compounds isolated from various parts of the tree, are among the active constituents. In preclinical studies, graviola demonstrated antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antidiabetic, antiulcer, antiviral and anticancer effects. It also showed neurotoxic properties, but a systematic review suggests a favorable profile with graviola leaf extract. Further research is needed to determine safety and efficacy ... link to our monograph.
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