Complementary Therapies for Cancer Patients
Over the past few years, millions of Americans have embraced complementary treatments to combat a wide range of illnesses and health conditions. The most frequent users of these new approaches are people with cancer.In November 2000, Dana-Farber opened the Leonard P. Zakim Center for Integrated Therapies, where leading DFCI clinicians and researchers are able to combine complementary patient care approaches with traditional treatments. The Zakim Center provides quality clinical, educational, and research programs to enhance the lives of patients and their families in both the pediatric and adult clinics. The research mission of the Zakim Center is to advance knowledge of the efficacy and toxicity of complementary therapies through peer-reviewed, evidence-based clinical research. Working with the different disease centers at Dana-Farber, we are conducting clinical trials to find out which therapies are safe and effective. The Zakim Center also collaborates with organizations such as the American Cancer Society and with academicians at Harvard Medical School. Research projects include studies of the effects of several interventions: (1) exercise programs on immunological activity, physical status, and quality of life; (2) acupuncture on pain, nausea, and the quality of life in patients with advanced cancer; (3) acupuncture on chemotherapy-induced neutropenia in patients with ovarian cancer; (4) Qi Gong on mood and cortisol levels in patients with breast cancer; (5) music therapy on patients with metastatic breast cancer; and (6) Reiki and the relaxation response on patients with prostate cancer.In November 2004, Dana-Farber was among several organizations - including Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and the MD Anderson Cancer Center - to found the Society for Integrative Oncology, a nonprofit that serves as a forum for the presentation of scientific data on complementary and integrative therapies. Dr. Rosenthal served as the vice president in 2004 and the president in 2005.