SIO 17th International Conference Rescheduled to September 24-26, 2021 

Read letter from SIO President, Ting Bao, MD, DABMA, MS.


SIO Abstract Submissions Portal Will Re-Open in Early 2021

Due to the 17th International Conference being postponed until September 24-26, 2021, we have closed the abstract submisssions portal. Please watch for notifications of its re-opening in early 2021. All abstracts that have been submitted to date will be saved and submitted to the review committee. 



Clinical Practice Guidelines

SIO is pleased to provide its updated clinical practice guidelines for breast cancer. In June 2018, ASCO announced endorsement of the guidelines. The guidelines were published in 2017. Researchers analyzed which integrative treatments are most effective and safe for patients with breast cancer. The guidelines are a resource for clinicians and patients to inform evidence-based decisions on the use of integrative therapies during breast cancer treatment. Researchers at US and Canadian institutions evaluated the efficacy and safety of more than 80 therapies.

The Journal of the National Cancer Institute Monograph has  published a special issue co-sponsored by SIO, "Advancing the Global Impact of Integrative Oncology"; including a comprehensive definition for integrative oncology. The articles in the special Monograph were all peer-reviewed.




SIO Wellness Wednesday Programs Are Coming Soon!

SIO's 20-minute recorded wellness programs, produced by SIO's Yoga SIG, will feature a new program each Wednesday at 12:00 pm ET, beginning June 10 and running through Labor Day. Our first program, "Intro to Mindfulness" will be available next Wednesday. More details will follow, so please look for information here and on social media.

"The Use of Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine in COVID-19 - Where's the Evidence?"

Webinar presentation by Weidong Lu, MB, MPH, PhD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute - recording now available on YouTube.

TCM and Integrative Oncology Practice in China During COVID-19 Outbreak

by Yufei Yang, MD 

Given the rapidly progressing global COVID-19 crisis, SIO leadership has decided to launch a COVID-19 column to specifically address our members’ needs. Our first interview is with Yufei Yang, MD, who is the director of integrative oncology at Beijing Xiyuan Hospital. We would like to learn from our Chinese colleagues’ recent advances in combating COVID-19. This is in keeping with SIO’s practice of facilitating opportunities to share our members’ experiences and perspectives. The full article - TCM and Integrative Oncology Practice in China During COVID-19 Outbreak represents Dr. Yang and her team’s views only.


Call for Applications: SIO 2020 Africa Travel Scholarship - Postponed Until 2021

Please watch for details in early 2021.


Watch Video on Abstract Writing Best Practices 

Please be sure to watch this video in preparation for submitting abstracts in early 2021.


SIO 2019 Conference Presentations Available on VuMedi

As a resource to SIO conference attendees, presentations from SIO's 16th International Conference in NYC are now accessible through, a video hosting platform that posts content from a broad range of healthcare organizations and medical professionals.


February, 2018



Winters-Stone KM; Moe EL; Perry CK; Medysky M; Pommier R; Vetto J; Naik A.


Enhancing an oncologist's recommendation to exercise to manage fatigue levels in breast cancer patients: a randomized controlled trial.


Supportive Care in Cancer. 26(3):905-912, 2018 Mar.


PURPOSE: Fatigue is a troublesome symptom for breast cancer patients, which might be mitigated with exercise. Cancer patients often prefer their oncologist recommend an exercise program, yet a recommendation alone may not be enough to change behavior. Our study determined whether adding an exercise DVD to an oncologist's recommendation to exercise led to better outcomes than a recommendation alone.

METHODS: Ninety breast cancer patients, at varying phases of treatment and stages of disease, were randomized to receive the following: an oncologist verbal recommendation to exercise (REC; n = 43) or REC plus a cancer-specific yoga DVD (REC + DVD; n = 47). Fatigue, vigor, and depression subscales of the Profile of Mood States, and physical activity levels (MET-min/week), exercise readiness, and self-efficacy were assessed at baseline, 4, and 8 weeks. Analyses controlled for age, time since diagnosis, and metastatic disease.

RESULTS: Over 8 weeks, women in REC + DVD used the DVD an average of twice per week. The REC + DVD group had greater reductions in fatigue (-1.9 +/- 5.0 vs. - 1.0 +/- 3.5, p = 0.02), maintained exercise readiness (-0.1 +/- 1.1 vs. - 0.3 +/- 1.3; p = 0.03), and reported less of a decrease in physical activity (- 420 +/- 3075 vs. - 427 +/- 5060 MET-min/week, p =0.06) compared to REC only.

CONCLUSIONS: A low-cost, easily distributed, and scalable yoga-based DVD could be a simple booster to an oncologist's advice that motivates breast cancer patients, even those with advanced disease and/or in treatment, to engage in self-care, e.g., exercise, to manage fatigue.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: Identifier: NCT03120819.


Kinkead B; Schettler PJ; Larson ER; Carroll D; Sharenko M; Nettles J; Edwards SA; Miller AH; Torres MA; Dunlop BW; Rakofsky JJ; Rapaport MH.


Massage therapy decreases cancer-related fatigue: Results from a randomized early phase trial.


Cancer. 124(3):546-554, 2018 Feb 01.


BACKGROUND: Cancer-related fatigue (CRF) is a prevalent and debilitating symptom experienced by cancer survivors, yet treatment options for CRF are limited. In this study, we evaluated the efficacy of weekly Swedish massage therapy (SMT) versus an active control condition (light touch [LT]) and waitlist control (WLC) on persistent CRF in breast cancer survivors.

METHODS: This early phase, randomized, single-masked, 6-week investigation of SMT, LT, and WLC enrolled 66 female stage 0-III breast cancer survivors (age range, 32-72 years) who had received surgery plus radiation and/or chemotherapy/chemoprevention with CRF (Brief Fatigue Inventory>25). The primary outcome was the Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory (MFI), with the National Institutes of Health PROMIS Fatigue scale secondary.

RESULTS: Mean baseline MFI scores for 57 evaluable subjects were 62.95 for SMT, 55.00 for LT, and 60.41 for WLC. SMT resulted in a mean (standard deviation) 6-week reduction in MFI total scores of -16.50 (6.37) (n=20) versus -8.06 (6.50) for LT (n=20) and an increase of 5.88 (6.48) points for WLC (n=17) (treatment-by-time P<.0001). The mean baseline PROMIS Fatigue scores were SMT, 22.25; LT, 22.05; and WLC, 23.24. The mean (standard deviation) reduction in PROMIS Fatigue scores was -5.49 (2.53) points for SMT versus -3.24 (2.57) points for LT and -0.06 (1.88) points for WLC (treatment-by-time P=.0008). Higher credibility, expectancy, and preference for SMT than for LT did not account for these results.

CONCLUSION: SMT produced clinically significant relief of CRF. This finding suggests that 6 weeks of a safe, widely accepted manual intervention causes a significant reduction in fatigue, a debilitating sequela for cancer survivors.


Shin J; Park H.


Effects of Auricular Acupressure on Constipation in Patients With Breast Cancer Receiving Chemotherapy: A Randomized Control Trial.


Western Journal of Nursing Research. 40(1):67-83, 2018 Jan.


The purpose was to examine the effects of auricular acupressure to relieve constipation in patients with breast cancer who were undergoing chemotherapy. Participants were 52 patients with breast cancer receiving chemotherapy at E University Hospital, Seoul, Korea, randomized into two groups of equal size. For the experimental group, auricular acupressure was applied to seven auricular acupoints for 6 weeks using vaccaria seeds, whereas the control group received the usual care. Constipation-assessment scores of the experimental group were significantly lower compared with the control group (p < .001). Stool-form scores of the experimental group were significantly higher compared with the control group ( p = .003).  Patient Assessment of Constipation-Quality of Life scores of the experimental group were significantly lower compared with the control group (p < .001). Auricular acupressure was effective at relieving constipation in patients with breast cancer receiving chemotherapy.  Auricular acupressure was also a safe and acceptable nursing intervention.


Kurt S; Can G.


Reflexology in the management of chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy: A pilot randomized controlled trial.


European Journal of Oncology Nursing. 32:12-19, 2018 Feb.


PURPOSE: The current experimental study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of reflexology on the management of symptoms and functions of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) in cancer patients.

METHOD: This study was conducted as a randomized controlled trial in 60 patients (30 experimental and 30 control patients) who had chemotherapy-induced Grade II-IV peripheral neuropathy complaints from July 2013 to November 2015. Data were collected using the patient identification form, European Organization for the Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy (EORTC-CIPN-20) form, and BPI (used for related chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy symptoms).

RESULTS: The majority of the patients were being treated for gastrointestinal or breast cancer and were primarily receiving Eloxatine- or taxane-based treatment. It was found that reflexology applications did not lead to differences in either group in terms of peripheral neuropathy severity and incidence (p > 0.05) and only led to improvement in sensory functions in the experimental group (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: It was determined that reflexology is not an effective method in the management of patients' activity levels, walking ability etc. and motor, autonomic functions related CIPN, but reflexology is effective method in the management of patients' sensory functions related CIPN.


Tarrasch R; Carmel-Neiderman NN; Ben-Ami S; Kaufman B; Pfeffer R; Ben-David M; Gamus D.


The Effect of Reflexology on the Pain-Insomnia-Fatigue Disturbance Cluster of Breast Cancer Patients During Adjuvant Radiation Therapy.

Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine. 24(1):62-68, 2018 Jan.


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effects of reflexology treatment on quality of life, sleep disturbances, and fatigue in breast cancer patients during radiation therapy.

METHODS/SUBJECTS: A total of 72 women with breast cancer (stages 1-3) scheduled for radiation therapy were recruited.

DESIGN: Women were allocated upon their preference either to the group receiving reflexology treatments once a week concurrently with radiotherapy and continued for 10 weeks or to the control group (usual care).

OUTCOME MEASURES: The Lee Fatigue Scale, General Sleep Disturbance Scale, and Multidimensional Quality of Life Scale Cancer were completed by each patient in both arms at the beginning of the radiation treatment, after 5 weeks, and after 10 weeks of reflexology treatment.

RESULTS: The final analysis included 58 women. The reflexology treated group demonstrated statistically significant lower levels of fatigue after 5 weeks of radiation therapy (p<0.001), compared to the control group. It was also detected that although the quality of life in the control group deteriorated after 5 and 10 weeks of radiation therapy (p<0.01 and p<0.05, respectively), it was preserved in the reflexology group, which also demonstrated a significant improvement in the quality of sleep after 10 weeks of radiation treatment (p<0.05). Similar patterns were obtained in the assessment of the pain levels experienced by the patients.

CONCLUSIONS: The results of the present study indicate that reflexology may have a positive effect on fatigue, quality of sleep, pain, and quality of life in breast cancer patients during radiation therapy. Reflexology prevented the decline in quality of life and significantly ameliorated the fatigue and quality of sleep of these patients. An encouraging trend was also noted in amelioration of pain levels.



Kinner EM; Armer JS; McGregor BA; Duffecy J; Leighton S; Corden ME; Gauthier Mullady J; Penedo FJ; Lutgendorf SK.


Internet-Based Group Intervention for Ovarian Cancer Survivors: Feasibility and Preliminary Results.


JMIR Cancer. 4(1):e1, 2018 Jan 15.


BACKGROUND: Development of psychosocial group interventions for ovarian cancer survivors has been limited. Drawing from elements of cognitive-behavioral stress management (CBSM), mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), we developed and conducted preliminary testing of an Internet-based group intervention tailored specifically to meet the needs of ovarian cancer survivors. The Internet-based platform facilitated home delivery of the psychosocial intervention to a group of cancer survivors for whom attending face-to-face programs could be difficult given their physical limitations and the small number of ovarian cancer survivors at any one treatment site.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to develop, optimize, and assess the usability, acceptability, feasibility, and preliminary intended effects of an Internet-based group stress management intervention for ovarian cancer survivors delivered via a tablet or laptop.

METHODS: In total, 9 ovarian cancer survivors provided feedback during usability testing. Subsequently, 19 survivors participated in 5 waves of field testing of the 10-week group intervention led by 2 psychologists. The group met weekly for 2 hours via an Internet-based videoconference platform. Structured interviews and weekly evaluations were used to elicit feedback on the website and intervention content. Before and after the intervention, measures of mood, quality of life (QOL), perceived stress, sleep, and social support were administered. Paired t tests were used to examine changes in psychosocial measures over time.

RESULTS: Usability results indicated that participants (n=9) performed basic tablet functions quickly with no errors and performed website functions easily with a low frequency of errors. In the field trial (n=19), across 5 groups, the 10-week intervention was well attended. Perceived stress (P=.03) and ovarian cancer-specific QOL (P=.01) both improved significantly during the course of the intervention. Trends toward decreased distress (P=.18) and greater physical (P=.05) and functional well-being (P=.06) were also observed. Qualitative interviews revealed that the most common obstacles participants experienced were technical issues and the time commitment for practicing the techniques taught in the program. Participants reported that the intervention helped them to overcome a sense of isolation and that they appreciated the ability to participate at home.

CONCLUSIONS: An Internet-based group intervention tailored specifically for ovarian cancer survivors is highly usable and acceptable with moderate levels of feasibility. Preliminary psychosocial outcomes indicate decreases in perceived stress and improvements in ovarian cancer-specific QOL following the intervention. A randomized clinical trial is needed to demonstrate the efficacy of this promising intervention for ovarian cancer survivors.


Yang G; Qiu J; Wang D; Tao Y; Song Y; Wang H; Tang J; Wang X; Sun YU; Yang Z; Hoffman RM.


Traditional Chinese Medicine Curcumin Sensitizes Human Colon Cancer to Radiation by Altering the Expression of DNA Repair-related Genes.


Anticancer Research. 38(1):131-136, 2018 01


BACKGROUND/AIM: The aim of the present study was to investigate the radio-sensitizing efficacy of curcumin, a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) on colon cancer cells in vitro and in vivo.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Human colon cancer HT-29 cells were treated with curcumin (2.5 muM), irradiation (10 Gy) and the combination of irradiation and curcumin. Cell proliferation was assessed using the MTT assay. Apoptotic cells were detected by Annexin V-PE/7-AAD analysis. PCR was performed to determine differential-expression profiling of 95 DNA-repair genes in irradiated cells and cells treated with both irradiation and curcumin. Differentially-expressed genes were confirmed by Western blotting. In vivo radio-sensitizing efficacy of curcumin was assessed in a xenograft mouse model of HT-29 colon cancer. Curcumin was administrated daily by intraperitoneal injection at 20 mg/kg/dose. Mice received irradiation (10 Gy) twice weekly. Apoptosis of the cancer cells following treatment was determined by TUNEL staining.

RESULTS: Irradiation induced proliferation inhibition and apoptosis of HT-29 cells in vitro. Concurrent curcumin treatment sensitized the HT-29 tumor to irradiation (p<0.01). DNA repair-related genes CCNH and XRCC5 were upregulated and LIG4 and PNKP downregulated by the combination of curcumin and irradiation compared with irradiation alone (p<0.05). Combined treatment of curcumin and irradiation resulted in a significantly greater tumor-growth inhibition and apoptosis compared to irradiation treatment alone (p<0.01).

CONCLUSION: Curcumin sensitizes human colon cancer in vitro and in vivo to radiation. Downregulation of LIG4 and PNKP and upregulation of XRCC5 and CCNH DNA-repair-related genes were involved in the radio-sensitizing efficacy of curcumin in colon cancer.



Zhang Y; Lin L; Li H; Hu Y; Tian L.


Effects of acupuncture on cancer-related fatigue: a meta-analysis. [Review]


Supportive Care in Cancer. 26(2):415-425, 2018 Feb.


PURPOSE: This study was designed to critically evaluate the effect of acupuncture on cancer-related fatigue (CRF).

METHODS: Seven databases (Cochrane Library, Embase, Medline, Web of Science, CBM, Wanfang, and CNKI) were systematically reviewed from inception to November 2016 for randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Two reviewers critically and independently assessed the risk of bias using Cochrane Collaboration criteria and extracted correlated data using the designed form. All analyses were performed with Review Manager 5.

RESULTS: Ten RCTs, including 1327 patients (acupuncture, 733; control, 594), meeting the inclusion criteria for the meta-analysis were identified. Acupuncture had a marked effect on fatigue in cancer patients, regardless of concurrent anti-cancer treatment, particularly among breast cancer patients. The meta-analysis also indicated that acupuncture could significantly mitigate CRF compared with sham acupuncture or usual care. Acupuncture for 20-30 min/session three times/week for two or three weeks, twice weekly for two weeks and weekly for six weeks, and weekly for six weeks had substantial effects on CRF. Six RCTs reported the occurrence of adverse events, whereas five reported none. The remaining study reported some manageable events, including spot bleeding and bruising.

CONCLUSIONS: Acupuncture is effective for CRF management and should be recommended as a beneficial alternative therapy for CRF patients, particularly for breast cancer patients and those currently undergoing anti-cancer treatment.


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