2000: This was the 23 annual meeting in San Antonio. Almost three thousand doctors, researchers,advocates(about 60), and others attended. The meeting ran from Wednesday to Saturday with mini-symposiums, lectures, general sessions, poster sessions, plenaries and case-study luncheons.
Of special interest to this audience:
A talk by Charles L. Loprinzi, MD of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN on Alternative Medicine(CAM). Dr. Loprinzi began his talk by demonstrating that scientific methods have been brought to bear on CAM. This was an attempt to answer one of the main arguments against CAM(unscientific!). Since the main audience was composed of doctors and researchers with little understanding of CAM, his talk was fairly basic.
He explained that there were six main areas of interest:
acupuncture/music therapy/massage therapy/meditation/herbal substances/non-herbal substances.
He reported that studies now show between 28-87% (latest figure) of patients use CAM. He suggested the new higher number as more valid a count.
He told the audience of mostly doctors that they need to specifically ask their patients what CAM they use in order to solicit answers.
Ann's NOTE: This is very important because if CAM works (and most of us reading this believe it does), your healthcare provider needs to know what modalities you are using. Both to develop her/his understanding of CAM AND to protect you (prevent adverse effects and interactions).
Dr. Loprinzi suggested the following reasons to explore CAM:
New and better methods are needed.
Conventional medicine does NOT have all the answers.
CAM is considered different (by the public).
Some hypothesis are reasonable.
Patients ARE ALREADY USING CAM. (Ann's emphasis)
Target areas for CAM use:
Alleviation of syptoms
Dr. Loprinzi made a special point of stating that CAM can and should be studied just like conventional therapies, but that standards should be "no tougher".
His first slide had a list of products that had been found not to be effective (by his standards) and he did not discuss them. The list included Vitamin C, laetriel and hydrazine sulfate.
Ann's NOTE: I would have loved to ask him right there what his rationale was but have sent him an email to that point.
The Relevant Studies section of this website contains articles about the use of Vitamin C, and about the study of cyanide currently taking place (the active ingredient of laetriel). Under the Treatments' section is a very complete discussion of hydrazine sulfate.
Dr. Loprinzi then spent most of his talk discussing other products that had been "proven" not to work. Among them: Chamomile tea for mucositis (an effect of chemotherapy on esophagus, mouth, stomach lining, etc); Aloe Vera for radiation dermatitus-shown to be no better than the placebo cream (Int'l J of Radiation Oncology); Soy used for reducing hot flashes (several studies quoted).
Ann's NOTE: Again, this is subject to discussion. Was the Aloe used directly from the plant? Probably not. I would very much like to look at the study methods for the above quoted studies. I am hoping that Dr. Loprinzi will be willing to discuss all of this with me. Updates will follow.
Successful use of CAM was: Gingko for "chemo brain" (short term memory loss, slower reaction times, focusing problems) Journal of American Medical Assoc. 1997, Lebars, P.; Valerian for sleep/fatigue, as studied during adjuvant therapy; Capsaicin (based on red pepper) cream for neuropathic pain (study in Journal of Clinical Oncology); and ice chips (cryotherapy)in the mouth during IV 5FU therapy to prevent mouth sores.
An advocate (patient) whose assignment it was to report on his talk, stated that it was fabulous!
The fabulous part (from Ann's perspective) was that CAM was discussed at a plenary session at this mostly conventional conference. That was fantastic and shows how much effect patient use of CAM is having.
Poster presentation on a Vitamin A derivative
In node negative women (Sweden),
with small tumors
Various Reports from
the 24th Annual Symposium
Talk on Tam, Raloxifene and Cross-resistance
Anastrozole 'slightly' More Effective Than Tam
Leukemia Increases w/High-Dose Chemo & Growth Factors
Sentinel Node Surgery
Excerpts from NSABP Study:AC &T
Excerpts from Update on Adjvt Chemotherapy
Musa Mayer Reports on Fran Visco's Remarks
Ann Fonfa's larger overview of the 2001 Symposium
2004 various abstracts,
news reports and personal
Oncotype DX Helps Decide if CHEMO Needed
Aromatase Inhibitors as Adjuvant Therapy Postmeno BCa
L-glutamine solution for Mucositis AES-14 (Saforis)
Taxanes May Help Prevent Chemo-Induced Menopause
Omega-3 and Omega-6 Boost Tamoxifen Responses
Gail Scores Predictive of Malignancy in Some Populations
Assessing the Needs of Women w/Advanced BCa
Various articles, comments
Remarks by Ann Fonfa, Pres, Annie Appleseed Project
Remarks by Musa Mayer, Author, Advocate
Maria Wetzel Remarks on Dosage
African American Issues - San Antonio Breast Ca Symp 2006
Decreased Incidence of Breast CaSEER Data 2003
Lecture on Pathology Issues - Dr. Shahla Masood
Issue 4 Dec 17, 2006 Conference Newsletter
Abstracts, Press releases,
advocate stories, etc.
Vit D Supplementation Reduces Fatigue & Muscle Pain
Anthracyclines of No Benefit in HER2-Negative Breast Cancer
TAXANES After Standard Anthracycline chemo breast ca NO discernible benefit
1/3 HER2-Positive Breast Tumors Metastasize to Brain
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