Clinical Practice Guidelines

SIO is pleased to provide itsRe 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.

Voting is Now Open for SIO's Board of Trustees Election

Voting is now open for the Society for Integrative Oncology Board of Trustees Election. We are using an online election system to tabulate our votes. All SIO members in good standing have been sent an email invitation to vote. Click here for more details and to see list of nominees. If you are a current SIO member and you have NOT received your invitation and instructions for voting, please contact staff at:

 JACM Announces Call for Submissions (Read more)


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SIO 2019 Conference

Early Bird Registration for the 16th International Conference, October 19-21, 2019 in New York, NY, has been extended until August 16 at 11:59 pm (ET). Don't wait to register! The conference theme is: Advancing the Science and Art of Integrative Oncology. Register here. Hotel Room Blocks are still available. The cutoff date for securing the conference group rate is September 17. Click here to reserve your room. 

Deadline for Patient Advocate Scholarships & Clinician Scholarships for Pre-Confeence Has Been Extended!

The new deadline to submit patient advocate and clinican scholarship applications for SIO2091's pre-conference workshop, "Sleeping Well After Cancer: Translating Patient-Centered Research into Practice,"  is August 23, 2019 at 11:59 pm ET.  Read more here and apply.

SIO 2019 Conference Educational Sponsor


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The SIO Clinical Practice Guidelines are referenced in MedLine and are posted on the National Institutes of Health National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health website The SIO Clinical Practice Guidelines are the only comprehensive evidence-based guidelines for incorporating complementary and integrative therapies into conventional oncology clinical practice. The published guidelines are available for FREE.

Click here for the April 2017 Clinical practice guidelines on the evidence-based use of integrative therapies during and after breast cancer treatment.

Click here to access the 2014 SIO Guidelines, Clinical Practice Guidelines on the Use of Integrative Therapies as Supportive Care in Patients Treated for Breast Cancer as Supportive Care in Patients Treated for Breast Cancer.

Click here to access the 2013 SIO Guidelines, Complementary therapies and integrative medicine in lung cancer: Diagnosis and Management of Lung Cancer.

Click pdf here (268 KB)  to access the 2009 SIO Guidelines, Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines for Integrative Oncology: Complementary Therapies and Botanicals.

To visit the NCCIH website, click here.

Click here for the press release announcing the publication of the 2014 Clinical Practice Guidelines on the Use of Integrative Therapies as Supportive Care in Patients Treated for Breast Cancer

History of SIO Clinical Practice Guidelines

The Society for Integrative Oncology (SIO) published its first edition of Integrative Oncology Practice Guidelines in 2007.1 Experts who specialize in defined categories of integrative or complementary therapies were asked to review the scientific literature and categorize the interventions into specific levels of utility that take into account the methodological strength of supportive evidence, benefits versus risks, practicality, and value. Members of the SIO Executive Committee, who are responsible for the final recommendations, peer reviewed and critiqued the submissions, with the final product a consensus. The 2009 edition2 updates and expands on the previous version and provides practical recommendations for the use of complementary therapies in the supportive care of cancer patients.

In pdf 2007 (263 KB)  and then again in 2013, SIO published guidelines in Chest on the use of Complementary Therapies and Integrative Oncology in Lung Cancer. 3,4

In 2014, SIO published the Clinical Practice Guidelines on the Use of Integrative Therapies as Supportive Care in Patients Treated for Breast Cancer in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute Monograph Special Issue on Integrative Oncology.


The guidelines are not intended to remove the freedom of individual decision making, and the authors emphasize the importance of having degrees of freedom. It is useful, however, for clinicians to refer to these guidelines when making clinical choices with their patients. They will also be useful for quality assurance, clinical governance, and medical legislation and will provide indications for reimbursement that add value to clinical programs. They clearly illustrate the importance of multidisciplinary health care teams that jointly use their skills based on the expanding evidence base for integrative medicine. We hope that the guidelines will prevent inappropriate variation in clinical practice and underline the professional basis for integrative medicine. As such, this will provide a useful resource for all clinicians as well as administrators. So, why publish guidelines? These are tools, not rules. We need to formulate clinical decision making that is based on the best research evidence available, based on knowledge of relative safety and possible adverse effects, and that is economical compared with other interventions. One of the tenets of integrative oncology is to involve patients in the decision-making process, so we place emphasis on the clinical encounter and the safe integration of combined modalities that suit the patient's culture and belief system. However, economics includes not only financial costs but also the cost of missed opportunities and adverse events. It is imperative that all practitioners concerned for cancer patients have the knowledge and skills to design personalized programs that wisely support patients through their anticancer therapies. The consultation is an opportunity for education and must include clear guidance as to what is complementary and what is deemed alternative and, therefore, by definition, should be avoided. The guidelines clearly advocate evidence-based complementary therapies that support patients through their standard anticancer treatment, help reduce adverse effects, and improve their quality of life.

We are hopeful that the research will eventually show that using these evidence-based guidelines for integrative oncology will have economic advantages by supporting patients through their anticancer treatment, by teaching improved coping skills, by encouraging more rapid rehabilitation, and by teaching tertiary prevention strategies. By standardizing these approaches, we will be able to collect high-quality data that can be used to compare programs in various institutions and implement quality assurance.


1. Deng GE, Cassileth BR, Cohen L, Gubili J, Johnstone PA, Kumar N, Vickers A. Integrative oncology practice guidelines. J Soc Integr Oncol 2007; 5: 65 – 84.

2. Deng GE, Frenkel M, Cohen L, Cassileth BR, Abrams DI, Capodice JL, Courneya KS, Dryden T, Hanser S, Kumar N, Labriola D, Wardell DW, Sagar S. Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines for Integrative Oncology: Complementary Therapies and Botanicals. Journal of the Society for Integrative Oncology, Vol 7, No 3 (Summer), 2009: pp 85–120.

3. Cassileth BR, Deng GE, Gomez JE, Johnstone PA, Kumar N, Vickers AJ. Complementary therapies and integrative oncology in lung cancer: ACCP evidence-based clinical practice guidelines (2nd edition). Chest 2007;132(3 Suppl):340s-354s.

4. Deng GE, Rausch SM, Jones LW, Gulati A, Kumar NB, Greenlee H, Pietanza MC, Cassileth BR. Complementary therapies and integrative medicine in lung cancer: diagnosis and management of lung cancer, 3rd ed: American College of Chest Physicians evidence-based clinical practice guidelines. Chest 2013;143(5 Suppl):e420S-36S.

5. Greenlee H, Balneaves L, Carlson LE, Cohen M, Deng G, Hershman D, Mumber M, Perlmutter J, Seely D, Sen A, Zick SM, Tripathy D. Clinical practice guidelines on the use of integrative therapies as supportive care in patients treated for breast cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst Monograph. 2014;50:346-358.