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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.



NHS specialist library for complementary and alternative medicine
Has detailed evidence based information about research into complementary and alternative therapies

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

Complementary and Alternative Medicine Evidence Online (CAMEOL) database
Reviews of therapies in cancer care (developed by the Research Council for Complementary Medicine in partnership with the School of Integrated Health, University of Westminster, London, UK)

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

National Guidelines for the use of complementary therapies in supportive and palliative care
Tavares, Marianne, Prince of Wales Foundation for Integrated Health, Feb 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 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.

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 Jan-Feb;38(1):293.

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; 18: 1039–1047.

The use of complementary therapy by men with prostate cancer in the UK. S Wilkinson et al. European Journal of Cancer Care, 2008 Sep;17(5):492-9.

A Federal Approach to Professionally Led Voluntary Regulation for Complementary Healthcare A Plan for Action. The Prince's Foundation for Integrated Health. The final report of the Federal Working Group. February 2008. Link to the complementary healthcare report

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 Jul-Aug;57(7-8):343-8.

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.

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 Dec 10;25(35):5584-90.

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 Dec;1(4):306-12.

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 Dec;15(4):228-37.

Supplemental and dietary vitamin E, beta carotene, and vitamin C intakes and prostate cancer risk. VA Kirsh. Journal of the National  Cancer Institute, 2006 Feb 15;98(4):225-7.

Use of complementary and alternative medicine in cancer patients: a European survey. Molassiotis, A et al. Annals of Oncology: Volume 16, pp 655-663, 2005.

Use of complementary and alternative medicine in patients with cancer: a UK survey. J A Scott et al. European Journal of Oncology Nursing: Vol 9, pp 131-137, 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 Dec;23(4):171-80.

Complementary Therapies and Cancer Care Report of the Research Symposium. Report prepared by Dr Michelle Kohn and Dr Wendy Smith. Prince of Wales’s Foundation of Integrated Health, May 2005.

Use of complementary or alternative medicine in a general population in Great Britain: Results from the National Omnibus survey. K Thomas and P Coleman. Journal of Public Health, 2004 Jun; 26(2):152-7.

Potential health risks of complementary alternative medicines in cancer patients. Werneke U, et al. British Journal of Cancer, Jan 26;90(2):408-13, 2004.

Complementary and Alternative Therapies for Cancer. Cassileth BR, Deng G. The Oncologist: Volume 9, pp80-89, 2004.


Specialist reviewers

  • Jacqui Stringer – Clinical Lead for Complementary Therapies (Aromatherapy and Massage), The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester
  • Dr Charles Innes – Homeopathic doctor (Homeopathy)
  • Penny Chapman – Yoga teacher (Yoga)
  • Barbara Burden –  Reiki teacher (Reiki)
  • Anne Barlow – British Chiropractic Association
  • Alex Laird – Medical Herbalist (Herbal medicines)
  • Liz Butler – Senior Nutritional Therapist, Penny Brohn Cancer Centre
  • Barbara Siddall – Senior Group Therapist (Visualisation)
  • Professor Edzard Ernst – Professor of Complementary and Alternative medicine (Chiropractic, Shark cartilage)
  • Caroline Hoffman – Shiatsu
  • Su Mason – Head of Clinical Trials and Research Unit (Healing)
  • Gillian Young – Music therapist (Music therapy)
  • Helen Seers, Information Officer, Penny Brohn Cancer Centre – Shiatsu
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Updated: 31 December 2012