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Prevalence of complementary medicine use in a phase 1 clinical trials program.

Full title: Prevalence of complementary medicine use in a phase 1 clinical trials program: The MD Anderson Cancer Center Experience.

BACKGROUND: A key end point of early cancer clinical trials is the assessment of toxicities and their possible association with new experimental drugs. Therefore, the concurrent use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in patients with advanced malignancies seen in a dedicated phase 1 clinic was evaluated. METHODS: An investigator-designed survey was anonymously completed by patients seen in the phase 1 clinic. Pharmacologic CAM included any oral, topical, or intravenous agent, including vitamins, dietary supplements, and herbal products. Nonpharmacologic CAM included prayer, meditation, hypnosis, massage, and acupuncture. RESULTS: Of the 404 patients approached about completing the CAM survey, 394 (98%) agreed to respond, and 309 (78%) surveys were returned. Of those 309 patients, 162 (52%) used 1 or more CAM. Of the 162 CAM users, 77% utilized pharmacologic CAM, 71% used nonpharmacologic CAM, and 48% used both modalities. The most frequent CAM used were vitamins (70%), prayer (57%), and herbal products (26%). CAM utilization was not significantly associated with race, age, level of education, employment, or income level but was used more by women than men (P < .01). There was no statistically significant association between the use of CAM and quality of life as perceived by patients. Of the CAM users, 43% of patients had been using CAM for >5 years. Only 5% reported having side effects from using CAM, whereas 23% did not fully disclose their CAM use to their physicians. CONCLUSIONS: CAM usage is common in patients with advanced malignancies seen in a phase 1 clinic. Cancer 2011. © 2011 American Cancer Society.

Cancer. 2011 Apr 28. doi: 10.1002/cncr.26164. Naing A, Stephen SK, Frenkel M, Chandhasin C, Hong DS, Lei X, Falchook G, Wheler JJ, Fu S, Kurzrock R. Department of Investigational Cancer Therapeutics (Phase 1 Program), The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.

Posted: 07/11/2011

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