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Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics

, Volume 295, Issue 5, pp 1239–1245 | Cite as

Use of complementary and integrative medicine among German breast cancer patients: predictors and implications for patient care within the PRAEGNANT study network

  • Carlo Fremd
  • Carolin C. Hack
  • Andreas Schneeweiss
  • Geraldine Rauch
  • Diethelm Wallwiener
  • Sara Yvonne Brucker
  • Florin-Andrei Taran
  • Andreas Hartkopf
  • Friedrich Overkamp
  • Hans Tesch
  • Tanja Fehm
  • Peyman Hadji
  • Wolfgang Janni
  • Diana Lüftner
  • Michael P. Lux
  • Volkmar Müller
  • Johannes Ettl
  • Erik Belleville
  • Christof Sohn
  • Florian Schuetz
  • Matthias M. Beckmann
  • Peter A. Fasching
  • Markus WallwienerEmail author
Gynecologic Oncology

Abstract

Purpose

The present study aims to analyze a cohort of advanced breast cancer patients in Germany to assess their interest in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and patient’s use of most frequent CAM methods.

Patients and methods

Based on the PREGNANT real-time breast cancer registry which is a multicenter study in Germany, questionnaires of 580 patients with advanced breast cancer were evaluated. The implemented questionnaire for CAM asked for general interest in CAM and for patient’s use of different CAM methods at present and in the past. The interest and application of CAM were analyzed for association with patients’ characteristics such as tumor, patient, and therapy characteristics.

Results

In total, 436 out of 580 (75%) patients claimed to be interested in CAM. Further, interest in CAM is significantly correlated with younger age and absence of metastasis at the time of diagnosis. Multivariate analysis confirmed the patient’s age and distant disease status at the time of diagnosis as related to interest in CAM. A total of 56.4% of patients applied any CAM method in the past. Moreover, with increasing lines of therapies, the more frequent use of CAM was observed. Hereby, praying, vitamin supplements, and other food supplements were most frequently applied.

Conclusion

Our data demonstrate high overall interest and frequent use of CAM in advanced breast cancer patients supporting a strong demand of breast cancer patients for complementary counseling and treatments additional to the established cancer therapies. It is indispensable to implement counseling and evidence-based complementary treatments into clinical routine of cancer centers and to adapt postgraduate medical education, respectively.

Keywords

Integrative medicine Complementary medicine Alternative medicine Breast cancer Oncology 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The PRAEGNANT network is supported by grants from Novartis and Pfizer.

Author’s contributions

CF, CH, and MW designed the project and wrote the manuscript. PF contributed to concept, drafting, analysis, and interpretation of data. On behalf of the PREAGNANT Study Network, all authors collected data. GR conducted statistical analysis. All authors read and approved the final version.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Author Peter Fasching received research grants from Amgen, Celgene, and Novartis and honoraria from Novartis, Pfizer, Celgene, and Roche. Author Diana Lüftner received honoraria from Amgen, Celgene, and Novartis. All other authors declare they have no conflict of interest to disclose.

Ethical approval

The study has been approved by the ethical review board of all participating sites, and all investigations were conducted according to the declaration of Helsinki. In line with this notion, all patients provided their written informed consent.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carlo Fremd
    • 1
  • Carolin C. Hack
    • 3
  • Andreas Schneeweiss
    • 1
  • Geraldine Rauch
    • 5
  • Diethelm Wallwiener
    • 4
  • Sara Yvonne Brucker
    • 4
  • Florin-Andrei Taran
    • 4
  • Andreas Hartkopf
    • 4
  • Friedrich Overkamp
    • 6
  • Hans Tesch
    • 7
  • Tanja Fehm
    • 8
  • Peyman Hadji
    • 9
  • Wolfgang Janni
    • 10
  • Diana Lüftner
    • 11
  • Michael P. Lux
    • 3
  • Volkmar Müller
    • 12
  • Johannes Ettl
    • 13
  • Erik Belleville
    • 14
  • Christof Sohn
    • 2
  • Florian Schuetz
    • 2
  • Matthias M. Beckmann
    • 3
  • Peter A. Fasching
    • 3
  • Markus Wallwiener
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.National Center for Tumor DiseasesUniversity of HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany
  2. 2.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyUniversity of HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany
  3. 3.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyUniversity Hospital Erlangen, Comprehensive Cancer Center Erlangen/European Metropolitan Area Nuremberg (CCC ER-EMN)HeidelbergGermany
  4. 4.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyUniversity of TuebingenTuebingenGermany
  5. 5.Institute of Medical Biometry and InformaticsUniversity of HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany
  6. 6.Outpatient Department of Hematology and OncologyRecklinghausenGermany
  7. 7.Onkologie BethanienFrankfurtGermany
  8. 8.Department of Gynecology and ObstetricsHeinrich Heine University of DüsseldorfDüsseldorfGermany
  9. 9.Nordwest HospitalFrankfurtGermany
  10. 10.Department of Gynecology and ObstetricsUlm University HospitalUlmGermany
  11. 11.Department of Hematology, Oncology and Tumour Immunology CharitéUniversity Hospital, Campus Benjamin FranklinBerlinGermany
  12. 12.Department of GynecologyHamburg-Eppendorf University Medical CenterHamburgGermany
  13. 13.Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Klinikum rechts der IsarTechnical University of Munich (TUM)MunichGermany
  14. 14.Clin-Sol LtdWürzburgGermany

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