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Integrative Oncology

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From John Weeks [email protected]

Not long ago researchers at Yale cast a pall over the use of complementary medicine in the care of cancer patients – a.k.a. “integrative oncology.” The negativity was based on a fundamental misclassification. Nevertheless, the wrong-headed results prompted a flurry of news accounts that suggested the users of complementary medicine “die earlier than those who didn’t.” A more expansive and deeper look at the potential values of integrative oncology can be gained via a recent Special Focus Issue on Integrative Oncology with its 6 invited reviews, 13 original research articles, 7 commentaries, and 2 editorials. The submissions came from 4 continents.

The issue was co-edited by Israeli integrative oncologist Moshe Frenkel, MD, who formerly led integrative oncology at MD Anderson, and Lynda Balneaves, RN, PhD, the current president of the Society for Integrative Oncology and published by JACM-Paradigm, Practice and Policy Advancing Integrative Health (The Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine). I serve as the editor-in-chief of JACM and worked closely with Frenkel and Balneaves over the course of a year, sorting through nearly 70 submissions in selecting what became a double issue.

As the co-editors note, the JACM Special Issue was initially developed around a concept of Frenkel’s that JACM provide scientifically-grounded information that would err on the side of practicality for the oncology clinicians. The six experts selected – Frenkel was one of them – wedded academic affiliation with integrative oncology clinical expertise. Either alone or with teams, these authors anchored the issue with these papers meant for clinicians. All are open access to the public until October 24, 2018. The invited authors are noted in this list.