Complementary and alternative medicine research: a National Cancer Institute perspective

Semin Oncol. 2002 Dec;29(6):546-51. doi: 10.1053/sonc.2002.50003.


The widespread use of a variety of nutritional, psychological and natural medical approaches, collectively termed complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), has been well documented. Recent surveys demonstrate that between 9% and 91% of US cancer patients use CAM therapies at some time after their diagnosis. Despite their extensive use, there is a paucity of data available to indicate whether these practices are efficacious and safe. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is implementing programs to increase the amount and quality of cancer CAM research, support the production of high-quality CAM cancer information, and facilitate the dialog between CAM practitioners and cancer researchers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Complementary Therapies* / trends
  • Humans
  • National Institutes of Health (U.S.)*
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Research* / trends
  • United States