Latest News

Check out Jun Mao, MD, Chief of Integrative Medicine at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and author of the guidelines, Integrative Medicine for Pain Management in Oncology, as he speaks on the importance of the study and the implications of the findings. 

Watch the interview here.

Congratulations to Judith Lacey, SIO Global Task Force Member and Board of Trustee, for contributing to the launch of the white paper on ‘Integrative Oncology and Wellbeing in Cancer Care’. Watch the live interview with A/Prof Judith Lacey and Consumer Advocate Barry Du Bois discuss the benefits of Integrative Oncology on Studio 10 here!


You can find the link to the paper here:

The Society for Integrative Oncology: Two Decades of Global Leadership in Evidence-Based Integrative Health Care

The first column by SIO Leadership in the Journal of Integrative and Complementary Medicine (JICM), features the latest expert column, "The Society for Integrative Oncology: Two Decades of Global Leadership in Evidence-Based Integrative Health Care". The paper is available Open Access from November 3rd through the 17th, 2022 online here

Check out the latest article Cancer Network published about Dr. Mao, SIO past-president and current Board of Trustee member, on the updated guidelines from ASCO and SIO for pain management in patients with cancer.

Read more here

CONTACT: Hanna Hayden
September 19, 2022 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

New recommendations address the use of integrative therapies for pain management in cancer populations
The joint practice guideline results from a partnership between the Society for Integrative Oncology and the American Society of Clinical Oncology


WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 19, 2022)—A new joint practice guideline from the Society for Integrative Oncology (SIO) and the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (ASCO®) has been published to address gaps in healthcare providers’ knowledge of how to safely and effectively treat common cancer symptoms and side effects using integrative medicine approaches.

“Pain is a clinical challenge for many oncology patients and clinicians, and there's a growing body of evidence showing that integrative therapies can be useful in pain management. But to date there has not been clear clinical guidance about when and when not to use these approaches,” said Heather Greenlee, ND, PhD, co-chair of the SIO Clinical Practice Guideline Committee.

SIO joined forces with ASCO to develop a clinical practice guideline on the use of integrative therapies and pain management, building off of ASCO’s existing guideline focused on cancer pain. “This new guideline takes a deeper dive on the use of integrative therapies, which is important because clinicians and patients need to have access to the latest evidence-based information to make clinical decisions,” said Jun J. Mao, MD, MSCE, co-chair of the SIO-ASCO guideline on use of integrative therapies for pain management.

Integrative oncology is a patient-centered, evidence-informed field of cancer care that utilizes mind and body practices, natural products, and/or lifestyle modifications from different traditions alongside conventional cancer treatments. Integrative oncology aims to optimize health, quality of life, and clinical outcomes across the cancer care continuum and to empower people to prevent cancer and become active participants before, during, and beyond cancer treatment.

“Practice guidelines are a critical way to ensure healthcare providers use treatments that are based on quality evidence from scientific studies that have shown the treatment to be effective and safe,” said Immediate Past Chair of the ASCO® Evidence-Based Medicine Committee, Scott T. Tagawa, MD, MS, FACP. “The guidelines focus on important concerns in patient care that greatly impact quality of life and will help equip the oncology community with the essential knowledge needed to manage integrative therapy approaches.”

The SIO-ASCO guideline was developed following a rigorous review of published literature, including literature only from randomized clinical trials—the gold standard in healthcare research. A large panel of oncology experts was convened, co-chaired by Jun J. Mao, MD, MSCE, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center representing SIO, and Eduardo Bruera, MD, of MD Anderson Cancer Center representing ASCO. The panel reviewed existing evidence and assessed the quality of studies; once consensus was reached, recommendations were made based on the strength of the evidence available.

Among the guideline’s strongest recommendations are that acupuncture be offered to breast cancer patients experiencing joint pain related to the use of a medication common in breast oncology called aromatase inhibitors. Because there was moderately strong evidence supporting its effectiveness and its low risk of harm, the expert panel also recommended acupuncture for general cancer pain or musculoskeletal pain as well as for chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy.

The guideline also recommends the use of massage therapy for patients in palliative care or hospice who are experiencing pain.

“Clinician uptake of evidence-based treatments is always a concern, which is one of the reasons why we create practice guidelines,” said Dr. Bruera. “We are hoping that by showing the growing evidence that is out there, healthcare systems will start hiring these kinds of practitioners and insurance systems will start covering these treatments, because more and more, these are being shown to be effective at managing pain for cancer populations.”

Because the expert panel was conservative in making their recommendations, the guideline also includes areas identified as potentially relevant to cancer care but needing more research. This distinction is important because the lack of endorsement for a given therapy is not an indication that the therapy is necessarily ineffective or unsafe. Rather, it indicates that the expert panel felt the evidence was insufficient to support its recommendation. For instance, said Dr. Greenlee, more studies are needed to assess the safety and effectiveness of natural products.

To ensure patients can play a role in the treatment decision-making process and to inform their discussions about integrative therapies with their oncologists, ASCO and SIO have also posted a listing of integrative medicine patient resources on their respective websites.

“This is the first of three evidence-based guidelines for adults that SIO and ASCO are developing together, which combines the strengths of these two organizations,” added Linda E. Carlson, PhD, President of SIO. “The goal of this important collaboration is to inform as many clinicians and patients as possible about where the evidence for integrative therapies lies to support the best clinical outcomes possible for all cancer patients. And we believe this new guideline accomplishes that.”

SIO received an unrestricted grant to fund guideline development from the Samueli Foundation.


ASCO® is a registered trademark of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. and is used with permission. ASCO is not a partner or affiliate of SIO and does not recommend or endorse any organization, product, or service.

About The Society for Integrative Oncology:
Founded in 2003, SIO is the premier multi-disciplinary international professional organization for integrative oncology. The mission of the SIO is to advance evidence-based, comprehensive, integrative healthcare to improve the lives of people affected by cancer. SIO enables communication, education, and research to occur by bringing together practitioners and researchers across professions focused on the care of cancer patients and survivors. Members share the common goals of excellent comprehensive patient care, enhancement of anti-cancer therapy, supportive care, and prevention of cancer. SIO members are part of a unique multidisciplinary community of oncologists, nurses, psychologists, social workers, nutritionists, complementary therapy practitioners, naturopathic doctors, acupuncturists, massage therapists, epidemiologists, researchers, and many other health care practitioners. Learn more at, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube.


Dedicated to Discovery…Committed to Care


Leonard P. Zakim Center for Integrative Therapies and Healthy Living

Medical Director, Medical Oncologist


The Leonard. P. Zakim Center for Integrative Therapies and Healthy Living (Zakim Center) at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is searching for the new Medical Director. This physician medical director will work directly with the overall director of the Center, other clinical leaders and clinicians across Dana-Farber, including solid tumor and hematologic malignancies groups, Survivorship, and Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care. The medical director will be expected to develop and implement initiatives to address the supportive care needs of cancer patients and survivors. The medical director will supervise the clinical providers in the Zakim Center and oversee Zakim Center clinical programs, including both in-person appointments and virtual group programming. In addition, the new medical director of the Zakim Center will see patients for Integrative Medicine Consultations 3-4 sessions per week, with the possibility of also providing clinical care and/or research in one of our disease-oriented or palliative care programs. Ideally, applicants should have a minimum of three years’ experience as a physician; experience working with patients with cancer is preferred. Strong clinical skills and an appreciation of evidence-based medicine are critical. In addition, they must have formal training or experience in integrative medicine and/or clinical nutrition or exercise. The successful candidate will also engage in educational programming for patients, staff, and faculty and will have the opportunity to participate in and/or lead clinical research projects focused on integrative therapies and lifestyle interventions in cancer patients and survivors. The chosen candidate will be teaching Harvard-trained fellows and students for a minimum of 50 hours per year. 

Appointment at the Instructor, Assistant or Associate Professor levels at Harvard Medical School will be commensurate to academic accomplishment. Salary and benefits will be competitive with other institutions. Candidates should have an MD or MD/PhD degree and must be board-certified or board-eligible in Internal Medicine and/or Medical Oncology.


Please send cover letter, curriculum vitae, names and email of three references to:


Jennifer Ligibel, MD

c/o Taylor Haggerty

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Department of Medical Oncology

450 Brookline Avenue, Suite YC1233

Boston, MA 02215

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions or any other characteristic protected by law. Women and minority candidates are particularly encouraged to apply. 

Tribute to Barrie Cassileth, PhD 

Founding President of the Society for Integrative Oncology

A person with curly hairDescription automatically generated with low confidence

Founding Chief of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) Integrative Medicine Service (IMS) First Laurance S. Rockefeller Chair in Integrative Medicine.

Founding Member of the Advisory Council to the National Institute of Health’s Office of Alternative Medicine, now the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

Member, National and the NY–NJ Regional Boards of the American Cancer Society

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. Barrie Cassileth, founding president of the Society for Integrative Oncology (SIO). “Dr. Cassileth was one of the most elegant, hardworking, and caring women I have ever met,” Ting Bao, MD, DABMA, MS, the director of Integrative Breast Oncology at MSK and Immediate Past-President of SIO, said of her mentor. “It is amazing how much the field of integrative medicine has developed over the past twenty years; this progress would have not been possible without her. We will all miss her greatly.”

From the beginning days of the Society in 2003, Dr. Cassileth sowed the seeds of research, education, international outreach, and the value of the patient voice, which grew into the thriving SIO of 2022. The Society is still prioritizing these goals as it leads the way towards comprehensive, evidence-informed, integrative oncology care to improve the lives of people with cancer worldwide.  

Dr. Cassileth was also the founding Chief of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) Integrative Medicine Service (IMS) and the first Laurance S. Rockefeller Chair in Integrative Medicine. “Dr. Cassileth had great courage and vision,” said Jun J. Mao, MD, MSCE, the current Chief of Integrative Medicine at MSK and SIO Past President, who also described how Dr. Cassileth’s seminal work in clinical programming and research opened doors for the field of evidence-informed integrative oncology.

Importantly, Dr. Cassileth oversaw the development of the first of a series of integrative oncology clinical practice guidelines, which continue to be developed today by SIO in collaboration with mainstream organizations such as the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO). As Dr. Cassileth explained in a 2017 ASCO Post interview, “My strong belief in the necessity of helping patients and family members, as well as physicians and staff, participate in cancer research spurred me on. It was always clear that patients and family members need more than excellent surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and all the new treatments.”

Born in Philadelphia, Dr. Cassileth attended Bennington College in Vermont, which she described as “a cauldron of intellectual freedom.” She earned a PhD in medical sociology at the University of Pennsylvania while working in the UPenn Comprehensive Cancer Center’s inpatient unit for people with leukemia, where she was deeply affected by her interaction with patients who were in the end-stages of the disease. It was at UPenn that she also initiated the first palliative care program that included psychosocial therapies in an academic setting in the US.  

After a period of years in North Carolina, where she was appointed Consulting Professor of Community and Family Medicine at Duke, she was recruited in 1999 by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) in New York City to develop an integrative medicine program. This program, the Integrative Medicine Service at MSK, still offers complementary therapies to inpatients at the main MSK hospital as well as outpatient services and is still conducting practice-changing research in integrative oncology. 

It was partly the need for scientifically robust clinical research supporting the use of complementary therapies to manage symptoms and side effects of cancer and its treatment that inspired Dr. Cassileth to found the Society for Integrative Oncology in 2003. She invited like-minded pioneers in research who were also committed to improving the lives of people with cancer. These fellow integrative medicine research pioneers became the founding members of SIO and its first presidents, David Rosenthal, MD; Debu Tripathy, MD; Peter Johnstone, MD; and Lorenzo Cohen, PhD.  

During her long career, Dr. Cassileth published several books, from The Alternative Medicine Handbook: The Complete Reference Guide to Alternative and Complementary Therapies in 1998 to The Complete Guide to Complementary Therapies in Cancer Care in 2011, and, in 2014, Survivorship: Living Well During and After Cancer. 

Next year, SIO will celebrate its Twentieth Anniversary at the 20th International Conference in Banff, Alberta. Today, as we carry forward the mission of SIO, we gratefully offer this tribute to Dr. Barrie Cassileth, the kind, brilliant, and visionary founding president of the Society for Integrative Oncology.


29-30 Jan and 12-13 Feb 2022

Designed for anyone who is affected by cancer, Your Life and Cancer 2022 aims to introduce you to the growing world of Integrative Medicine, combining lifestyle, complementary and conventional approaches.

Held over two weekends 29-30 Jan and 12-13 Feb 2022, Your Life and Cancer features doctors, oncologists, therapists, best-selling authors and case studies from people who have benefited from taking an integrative approach.

More than 40 cancer care experts from around the world will be online to share their knowledge and expertise and provide you with tools to improve health and vitality, help manage side effects, build resilience, manage stress & anxiety and reduce the risk of recurrence.

Register for just £40 per weekend:

SIO Members can register using a discount code. To access the discount code, please log in using your SIO log in credentials.

Find out more:

SIO leaders have co-authored a defining international publication alongside key stakeholders from NIH, WHO, Europe, and countries such as Brazil, Argentina, and India. Titled "Integrative oncology: Addressing the global challenges of cancer prevention and treatment", the open-access article was published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. Corresponding author and SIO Past-President, Jun J. Mao, MD, MSCE, Chief of Integrative Medicine Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center writes, "We advocate for using SIO's integrative oncology framework to further develop this field to meet the global challenges of cancer control." This publication builds on the momentum of global collaboration demonstrated at the September 2021 SIO 18th International Conference, during which oncology leaders from countries around the world discussed priorities for improving oncology outcomes worldwide.

 Find the link to the article here


Transdisciplinary (TD) Training Opportunity in Energetics and Cancer!

We are in our 6th year of building a diverse community of transdisciplinary (TD) and translational (TL) researchers including those interested in cancer disparities and invite you to apply to our mentored program: The Transdisciplinary Research on Energetics and Cancer (TREC) Training Workshop.

The Workshop builds upon the NCI TREC Initiative and covers topics across the cancer control and T 0 -T 4 continua.

Funded by the U.S. National Cancer Institute and led by Yale University’s Dr. Melinda Irwin with a Senior Advisory Board and expert international faculty, this program builds capacity in TD and TL energetics and cancer research and is designed for early career investigators (i.e., junior faculty and postdocs). This 5-day, in  residence* Workshop places emphasis on developing and applying TD and TL competencies focused on energetics (i.e., obesity, diet and exercise) and cancer. Faculty span an array of professional disciplines, from basic scientists to clinicians to behavioral and population scientists. Formal didactic learning is integrated with one-on-one dialog and small group discussions to enable fellows to learn from each other, from faculty, and to develop a TD and TL network.

Below are a few of many testimonials as voiced by our previous cohorts.

The 6 th annual course will be held June 19-24, 2022 at Water’s Edge Resort, Westbrook, CT, U.S.A.*
Costs will be covered. 

Notification of Intent to apply (simple, informal email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) is due no later than December 15, 2021. Full application is due no later than Friday, January 14, 2022.

For more detail and to apply, visit  Questions: contact Diana Lowry This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

*Travel contingent on safety allowances due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If necessary, we will conduct the 2022 Workshop virtually via Zoom, June 19-24, 2022. Decision will be made by April 1, 2022.

***** Testimonials ********

This was an amazing experience and completely unique. (Fellow)

This workshop reaffirmed my commitment to energy balance and cancer research. Connecting with experts in the field and gaining their input into developing ideas was critical. (Fellow)

This training and networking was awesome! There was clearly a cumulative effect of 6 days together. (Fellow)

The caliber of trainees and faculty is amazing. What a treat to be able to interact with this group. (Faculty)

A meeting unlike any other. Many opportunities for networking and collaboration. Highly recommend! (Fellow)

The TREC Workshop was incredibly helpful. I learned about grant writing, transdisciplinary research, and gained more knowledge in the field in one week than I could have in one year. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet experts in energy balance who are there to educate and mentor young investigators. I’ve kept in touch with a few of the faculty and co-fellows, and I hope to keep these relationships for years to come. (Fellow)

Caliber of faculty & fellows = amazing week of high-quality science, networking, career advice, collaboration! (Fellow)

High bar to meet going forward! Kudos all around! (Faculty)

The networking and collaborative opportunities at this meeting are unmatched! (Fellow)

The TREC Workshop was phenomenal. The opportunity to be in a small group setting with such important thought leaders in the field of energy balance was unique and invaluable. The curriculum was well-thought out and balanced, covering all components of this transdisciplinary field. There was also plenty of time for informal networking and brainstorming. (Fellow)