Skip to main content

Advertisement

Log in

Use and perception of complementary and alternative medicine among cancer patients: the CAMEO-PRO study

Complementary and alternative medicine in oncology

  • Original Article – Clinical Oncology
  • Published:
Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

Background

It is estimated that about half of cancer patients use at least one form of complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) in their life but there is a strong reticence of patients in talking about CAM with their oncologist. Primary aim of this study was to inform patients about CAM, focusing on their supposed benefits, toxicities and interactions with conventional therapeutic agents. The study also explored patients’ perception about CAM and ascertained the level of CAM use among cancer patients of an Italian academic hospital.

Methods

From April 2016 to April 2017, the observational pilot trial “CAMEO-PRO” prospectively enrolled 239 cancer patients that were invited to attend a tutorial about CAM at the Department of oncology, University Hospital of Udine, Italy. Before and after the informative session, patients were asked to fill a questionnaire reporting their knowledge and opinion about CAM.

Results

Overall, 163 (70%) women and 70 (30%) men were enrolled. Median age was 61 years. At study entry, 168 (72%) patients declared they had never been interested in this topic previously; 24 patients (11%) revealed the use of a type of alternative therapy and 58 (28%) revealed the use of complementary therapy. In total, 139 (55.2%) patients attended the informative session. Bowker’s test of symmetry demonstrated statistically significant opinion’s change after the session on 9 out of 14 explored items.

Conclusions

Informative sessions seem to have a relevant impact on patients’ perceptions and opinions about CAM.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  • Ashar B, Vargo E (1996) Shark cartilage-induced hepatitis. Ann Intern Med 125:780–781

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Berretta M, Della Pepa C, Tralongo P et al (2017) Use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in cancer patients: An Italian multicenter survey. Oncotarget 8:24401–24414

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Bonacchi A, Fazzi L, Toccafondi A et al (2014) Use and perceived benefits of complementary therapies by cancer patients receiving conventional treatment in Italy. J Pain Symptom Manag 47:26–34

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Boon H, Stewart M, Kennard MA et al (2000) Use of complementary/alternative medicine by breast cancer survivors in Ontario: prevalence and perceptions. J Clin Oncol Off J Am Soc Clin Oncol 18:2515–2521

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Boudreau MD, Beland FA (2006) An evaluation of the biological and toxicological properties of Aloe barbadensis (Miller), Aloe vera. J Environ Sci Health Part C Environ Carcinog Ecotoxicol Rev 24:103–154

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Bozza C, Agostinetto E, Gerratana L et al (2015) Complementary and alternative medicine in oncology. Recenti Prog Med 106:601–607

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Budzinski JW, Foster BC, Vandenhoek S et al (2000) An in vitro evaluation of human cytochrome P450 3A4 inhibition by selected commercial herbal extracts and tinctures. Phytomed Int J Phytother Phytopharm 7:273–282

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Burstein HJ, Gelber S, Guadagnoli E et al (1999) Use of alternative medicine by women with early-stage breast cancer. N Engl J Med 340:1733–1739

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Eisenberg DM, Davis RB, Ettner SL et al (1998) Trends in alternative medicine use in the United States, 1990–1997: results of a follow-up national survey. JAMA 280:1569–1575

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Ernst E (2002) The risk-benefit profile of commonly used herbal therapies: Ginkgo, St. John’s Wort, Ginseng, Echinacea, Saw Palmetto, and Kava. Ann Intern Med 136:42–53

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gansler T, Kaw C, Crammer C et al (2008) A population-based study of prevalence of complementary methods use by cancer survivors: a report from the American Cancer Society’s studies of cancer survivors. Cancer 113:1048–1057

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Golden EB, Lam PY, Kardosh A et al (2009) Green tea polyphenols block the anticancer effects of bortezomib and other boronic acid-based proteasome inhibitors. Blood 113:5927–5937

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Haller CA, Benowitz NL (2000) Adverse cardiovascular and central nervous system events associated with dietary supplements containing ephedra alkaloids. N Engl J Med 343:1833–1838

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Harris PE, Cooper KL, Relton C et al (2012) Prevalence of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use by the general population: a systematic review and update. Int J Clin Pract 66:924–939

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Jatoi A, Ellison N, Burch PA et al (2003) A phase II trial of green tea in the treatment of patients with androgen independent metastatic prostate carcinoma. Cancer 97:1442–1446

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Kessler RC, Davis RB, Foster DF et al (2001) Long-term trends in the use of complementary and alternative medical therapies in the United States. Ann Intern Med 135:262–268

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Lee AH, Ingraham SE, Kopp M et al (2006) The incidence of potential interactions between dietary supplements and prescription medications in cancer patients at a Veterans Administration Hospital. Am J Clin Oncol 29:178–182

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • MacGregor FB, Abernethy VE, Dahabra S et al (1989) Hepatotoxicity of herbal remedies. BMJ 299:1156–1157

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Metz JM, Jones H, Devine P et al (2001) Cancer patients use unconventional medical therapies far more frequently than standard history and physical examination suggest. Cancer J Sudbury Mass 7:149–154

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Miller DR, Anderson GT, Stark JJ et al (1998) Phase I/II trial of the safety and efficacy of shark cartilage in the treatment of advanced cancer. J Clin Oncol 16:3649–3655

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Moertel CG, Fleming TR, Rubin J et al (1982) A clinical trial of amygdalin (Laetrile) in the treatment of human cancer. N Engl J Med 306:201–206

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Molassiotis A, Fernadez-Ortega P, Pud D et al (2005) Use of complementary and alternative medicine in cancer patients: a European survey. Ann Oncol 16:655–663

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Newell S, Sanson-Fisher RW (2000) Australian oncologists’ self-reported knowledge and attitudes about non-traditional therapies used by cancer patients. Med J Aust 172:110–113

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Risberg T, Kaasa S, Wist E et al (1997) Why are cancer patients using non-proven complementary therapies? A cross-sectional multicentre study in Norway. Eur J Cancer Oxf Engl 1990 33:575–580

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Saghatchian M, Bihan C, Chenailler C et al (2014) Exploring frontiers: use of complementary and alternative medicine among patients with early-stage breast cancer. Breast Edinb Scotl 23:279–285

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Schofield PE, Juraskova I, Butow PN (2003) How oncologists discuss complementary therapy use with their patients: an audio-tape audit. Support Care Cancer 11:348–355

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Sparreboom A, Cox MC, Acharya MR et al (2004) Herbal remedies in the United States: potential adverse interactions with anticancer agents. J Clin Oncol 22:2489–2503

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Teschke R, Schwarzenboeck A, Eickhoff A et al (2013) Clinical and causality assessment in herbal hepatotoxicity. Expert Opin Drug Saf 12:339–366

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Vaccini la bufala dei costi e degli incassi di Big pharma—Mondo Sanità—Blog—Repubblica.it. http://bocci.blogautore.repubblica.it/2017/06/24/vaccini-la-bufala-dei-costi-e-degli-incassi-di-big-pharma/. Accessed 30 June 2017

  • Yang HN, Kim DJ, Kim YM et al (2010) Aloe-induced toxic hepatitis. J Korean Med Sci 25:492–495

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

The authors thank Anna Vallerugo, MA, for her writing assistance.

Funding

This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Claudia Bozza.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Appendices

Appendix 1: Q1 questionnaire

Definition of CAM: Non-conventional medicine alternative or complementary to “official medicine”

The purpose of these questionnaires is to assess your knowledge of alternative and complementary therapies and what is your opinion on these treatments.

Thank you for letting us know which alternative and complementary therapies you have already heard of and the reasons why you chose to undergo/not to undergo CAM treatments.

All information provided will be treated confidentially.

figure a
figure b
figure c
figure d
figure e
figure f
figure g
figure h
figure i

Appendix 2: Q2 questionnaire

figure j
figure k
figure l

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Bozza, C., Gerratana, L., Basile, D. et al. Use and perception of complementary and alternative medicine among cancer patients: the CAMEO-PRO study. J Cancer Res Clin Oncol 144, 2029–2047 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00432-018-2709-2

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00432-018-2709-2

Keywords

Navigation