Nearly 400 physicians, researchers, nurses, integrative medicine practitioners, patient advocates, and patients from 25 countries convened in Miami, Florida, from November 5-7 at the 13th International Conference of the Society for Integrative Oncology.

Programs focused on the theme of advancing the global impact of integrative oncology. SIO2016 was presented with the assistance of Memorial Healthcare System and the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami.

SIO programming for the three days included three outstanding keynote presentations and four plenary sessions, plus multiple workshops, oral abstracts, posters, and more. Among attendees’ comments: “So much integrative work to learn about”; “I’m impressed with how many different ways we have to help people with integrative medicine - can’t wait to go back and start applying them”; “great talk on acupuncture and pain in cancer”; and “what an inspiring event.”


Topics featured in keynotes were “Mindful Awareness Practices to Promote Sleep Health: Inflammatory Mechanisms,” by Michael Irwin, MD, Cousins Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA; Distinguished Professor of Psychology, UCLA College of Letters and Sciences, Director, Cousins Center for Psychoimmunology, Semel Institute for Neuroscience; and Director of the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center; “Translational Pharmacology in Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine,” by Yung-Chi Cheng, PhD, Henry Bronson Professor of Pharmacology, Yale University, and Chairman of the Consortium for the Globalization of Chinese Medicine; and “Does the Provider or the Patient Define the Goal of Evidence-Based Integrative Practice and Does it Matter?” by Vinjar Finnøbø, MD, PhD, Professor of Preventive Medicine and Director of the National Research Centre in Complementary and Alternative Medicine, University of Tromsø, Norway.

Luncheon programs featured Dr. Rogers Prize recipient Heather Boon, BSCPhm, PhD, Professor and Dean for the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, at the University of Toronto, Canada, who discussed “Regulation of Complementary Medicine: Be Care What You Wish For,” and Karen Mustian, PhD, MPH, Associate Professor, Department of Surgery, Cancer Care, University of Rochester Medical Center, School of Medicine and Dentistry, who spoke on “Yoga for Management of Cancer and Treatment-Related Toxicities.” These programs were supported, respectively, by the Dr. Rogers Prize and the Weil Fund.

Plenary sessions focused on integrative oncology health policy and practices around the globe; natural products and nutritional intervention in cancer care; global perspectives on caring, culture and integrative oncology; and integrative mind-body interventions for regulating health outcomes.

Interactive sessions

Oral abstract presentations included nutrition, acupuncture, symptom management and quality of life, traditional integrative medicine, and natural products, as well as “The Best of SIO” presentations. Workshop topics focused on: Strengthening International Collaboration on Integrative Cancer Rehabilitation: Perspectives from the Current Situation and Practice in China; A Broad Spectrum Integrative Design for Cancer Treatment: Addressing Multiple Cancer Targets With Phytochemicals and Lifestyle Interventions; The Integration of Chinese and Western Medicine for Cancer Treatment and Symptom Management; Integrative Medicine for Adolescents and Young Adults With Cancer Across the Globe; Nutritional Support During Cancer Treatment; A Simple Yoga/Progressive Muscle Relaxation Intervention for Cancer Patients to Practice at Home to Help Manage Treatment Side Effects, Enhance Quality of Life and Improve Clinical Outcome. The conference also featured sessions providing a review of literature published in 2016 and the integrative care management board. The poster session generated significant discussions. A participant commented, “It’s exhilarating to take part in the scientific poster session.”

Attendees had the opportunity to participate in four pre-conference workshops – sharing the Florida experience in integrative oncology survivorship program development; program description and experience in mindfulness breast cancer recovery; what we know and what we don’t with regard to cannabis, and the goals and projects of the International Consortium for Chinese Medicine and Cancer, a session of particular interest regarding Chinese medicine, cancer research and management. Roundtable sessions on research, clinical practice, pediatric oncology, gynecology oncology, mind-body therapies, TCM/acupuncture, food as medicine, health policy, and translational pre-clinical studies were very popular. As a participant noted, “Breakfast roundtables were very thought-provoking.”

Building on the success in 2016, SIO again presented a New Investigator Forum at which research experts and new investigators/trainees in integrative oncology exchanged ideas, information, feedback and guidance. In a tradition of supporting early investigators in the field of integrative oncology, SIO also hosted future and young oncologists and researchers, as well as students and patient advocates, SIO appreciates the support of Helsinn Integrative Care and Cancer Treatment Centers of America for travel scholarships and to Unitech Medical for support of scholarships for the New Investigators Forum.

See you November 12-14 in Chicago for SIO 2017. Our theme will be, “Person-Centered Care in Integrative Oncology: Innovations, Impact and Implementation.”