Clinical studies of the efficacy and tolerability of systemically administered complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in conjunction with standard therapy in cancer patients

Start Year: 2010
Finish Year: 2010
Chief Investigator: Dr Janette Vardy
Grant Type: Other
Institution: University of Sydney

NICM Complementary and Intergrated Medicine Grant

An increasing proportion of patients suffering from cancer use complementary and alternative medicines (CAM). This use is frequently undertaken in addition to their prescribed conventional therapy, often without their physician’s knowledge. Despite common perceptions for systemically administered CAM, such as herbal medicines, there are significant risks of adverse drug interactions between herbal medicines and anti-cancer agents. These may result in adverse events, either as a result of increased drug toxicity or therapeutic failure.

Reviews to date demonstrate a paucity of high quality randomised data that are available to cancer clinicians in regard to potential adverse interactions between standard therapy and commonly used herbal medicines. The overall aim of this project is to collect high quality data from clinical models on the interaction (pharmacological, pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic) between two commonly used systemically administered CAM and standard cancer therapy.