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ASCO Endorses 2017 SIO Breast Cancer Guideline


The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has endorsed, with a few added discussion points, the Society for Integrative Oncology (SIO) evidence-based clinical practice guidelines on integrative therapies during and after breast cancer treatment.

The ASCO endorsement was announced on June 11 and published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, “Integrative Therapies During and After Breast Cancer Treatment: ASCO Endorsement of the SIO Clinical Practice Guideline.” The ASCO Expert Panel determined that the recommendations in the SIO guideline are clear, thorough, and based on the most relevant scientific evidence. In the SIO guideline, the researchers evaluated more than 80 different integrative therapies and developed grades of evidence based on the latest research.

“We are delighted to receive the ASCO endorsement if this important resource,” said SIO President Lynda Balneaves, PhD, RN. “This furthers our goal to provide clinicians and patients with practical information and tools to make informed decisions on whether and how to use a specific integrative therapy for a specific clinical application during and after breast cancer treatment,” On behalf of SIO, she expressed appreciation to the many members involved in developing the guidelines, from multiple health disciplines and international institutions.

Published in 2017 in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, the SIO guidelines were based on an analysis of peer-reviewed randomized controlled trials conducted from 1990 through 2013. Studies had to include more than 50 percent breast cancer patients or separately report results for breast cancer patients; use an integrative therapy as an intervention during standard treatment or address symptoms and side effects resulting from diagnosis and/or treatment of cancer; and address an endpoint of clinical relevance for breast cancer patients and survivors.

Heather Greenlee, ND, PhD, a past president of SIO and co-chair of the SIO guideline task force, called the ASCO endorsement a “very important step for the field of integrative oncology.” She pointed to the rigor with which the guidelines were written and reviewed. The ASCO panel further critically reviewed and updated the evidence supporting the recommendations presented in the current guideline endorsement. “We looked at all of this with a critical eye,” she said. “We have a very high bar and followed a very rigorous process with both the SIO and ASCO to evaluate these therapies. There were many different disciplinary eyes vetting them.”