Where this complementary therapy information comes from | Cancer Research UK
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Where this complementary therapy information comes from

Nurse and patients talking about cancer

This page tells you about the major sources of information that we use to put together this section.


About our patient information

All our information is checked by specialists and therapists. The names of our specialist reviewers are at the end of this list. We also try to find patients to review all our sections. If you have had cancer, live in the UK and would like to become a patient reviewer, please contact us by clicking on the 'contact us' button on the right hand side of the page.



UK National Cancer Research Network
Has a database of clinical trials including information about complementary therapies in cancer care

NHS Evidence
NHS and National Institute for Health and Care Excellence searchable database contains details of complementary and alternative therapy studies.

The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre
Evidence based information about herbs, botanicals and other products

US National Cancer Institute National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)
Detailed information about complementary and alternative therapies

US Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicines (OCCAM)
Has a database of CAM clinical trials

MD Anderson Cancer Center Complementary and Integrative Medicine Education resources (CIMER)
Resources to help health professionals and patients make decisions about including complementary therapies into their care

Medline Plus - Herbs and Supplements
US National Library of Medicine and National Institute for Health

MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency)
UK herbal medicines regulation and safety


Books and CDs

Complete Guide to Complementary and Alternative Cancer Therapies (2nd Edition)
American Cancer Society, 2009
ISBN: 0944235719

Talking with Patients about Complementary Therapies CD Rom
MD Anderson Cancer Centre, 2003


UK guidelines

Improving supportive and palliative care for adults with cancer, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, March 2004.


Articles and reviews

Complementary therapy support in cancer survivorship: a survey of complementary and alternative medicine practitioners' provision and perception of skills. CA Samuel and S Faithfull. European Journal of Cancer Care, 2014.

Complementary and alternative medicine usage in Scottish children and adolescents during cancer treatment. R Revuelta-Iniesta, ML Wilson, K White, L Stewart, JM McKenzie, DC Wilson. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 2014.

The experience of using complementary therapies after a diagnosis of cancer: a qualitative synthesis. J Smithson, N Britten, C Paterson, G Lewith, M Evans. Health, 2012.

Evaluation of documented drug interactions and contraindications associated with herbs and dietary supplements: a systematic literature review. HH Tsai, HW Lin, Simon Pickard, HY Tsai, GB Mahady. The International Journal of Clinical Practice, 2012.

Improved survival in patients with end stage cancer treated with coenzyme Q10 and other antioxidants: a pilot study. N Hertz and RE Lister. Journal of International Medical Research, 2010.

The impact of NHS based primary care complementary therapy services on health outcomes and NHS costs: a review of service audits and evaluations. L Wye L, D Sharp, A Shaw A. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2009.

Spontaneously reported adverse reactions in association with complementary and alternative medicine substances in Sweden. I Jacbsson, A Johnnson, Barbro Gerden and S Hagg. Pharmacology and drug safety, 2009.

The use of complementary therapy by men with prostate cancer in the UK. S Wilkinson et al. European Journal of Cancer Care, 2008.

The effect of acupuncture on salivary flow rates in patients with radiation-induced xerostomia. Braga FP, Sugaya NN, Hirota SK, Weinfeld I, Magalhães MH, Migliari DA.  Minerva Stomatology. 2008.

Randomized, controlled trial of acupuncture for the treatment of hot flashes in breast cancer patients. Deng G, Vickers A, Yeung S, D'Andrea GM, Xiao H, Heerdt AS, Sugarman S, Troso-Sandoval T, Seidman AD, Hudis CA, Cassileth B.  J Clin Oncol. 2007.

Acupuncture and fatigue: current basis for shared communication between breast cancer survivors and providers. Johnston MF, Xiao B, Hui KK.  Journal of Cancer Survivorship, 2007. 

The management of cancer related fatigue after chemotherapy with acupuncture and acupressure: a randomised controlled trial. Molassiotis A, Sylt P, Diggins H.  Complementary Therapy Medicine. 2007.

Acupuncture point stimulation for chemotherapy induced nausea or vomiting. Ezzo JM, Richardson MA, Vickers A, Allen C, Dibble SL, Issell BF, Lao L, Pearl M, Ramirez G, Roscoe J, Shen J, Shivnan JC, Streitberger K, Treish I, Zhang G. Cochrane Database Systematic Review. 2006 Apr 19;(2):CD002285.

Supplemental and dietary vitamin E, beta carotene, and vitamin C intakes and prostate cancer risk. VA Kirsh. Journal of the National  Cancer Institute, 2006.

Use of complementary and alternative medicine in cancer patients: a European survey. Molassiotis, A et al. Annals of Oncology, 2005.

Use of complementary and alternative medicine in patients with cancer: a UK survey. J A Scott et al. European Journal of Oncology Nursing, 2005. 

Acupuncture and self acupuncture for long term treatment of vasomotor symptoms in cancer patients audit and treatment algorithm. Filshie J, Bolton T, Browne D, Ashley S. Acupuncture Medicine. 2005.


Specialist reviewers

  • Professor George Lewith, Professor of Health Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton (Gerson therapy, Healing and Shark cartilage)
  • Dr Jacqui Stringer – Clinical Lead for Complementary Therapies (Aromatherapy,  Massage and Visualisation), The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester
  • Dr Alexander Tournier – Executive Director of the Homeopathy Research Institute, London
  • Dr Carolyn Hoffman – The Haven Cancer Support Centre (Yoga, Meditation and Visualisation)
  • Rosemary Pharo – Reiki Council (Reiki)
  • Ms Jeanne Trill – Medical Herbalist and Reflexologist (Herbal medicines pages and reflexology)
  • Professor Leslie Bunt – Professor in Music Therapy and Music Therapist, University of the West of England
  • Ms Helen Seers – Information Officer, Penny Brohn Cancer Centre (Macrobiotic diet, Laetrile and Shiatsu)
  • Ms Eve Kelsey – Clinical Hypnotherapist (Hypnotherapy)
  • Ms Janine Leach – Osteopath (Osteopathy)
  • Ms Jan Stewart – Confederation of Registered Essence Practitioners (Essence therapy)
  • Dr Rob Finch – Royal College of Chiropractors (Chiropractic)
  • Dr Jacquie Filshie – Anaesthetic department and pain management team, Royal Marsden Hospital (Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine)
  • Ms Gill Thomas – Art Therapist, Edenhall Hospice (Art therapy)
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Updated: 20 March 2015