Here are some highlights from each presenter. Note: this is not a detailed reporting of the lectures, but do click on the link at the name of each researcher to access a list of their publications which will take you deeper into their work.
Dr. Gary Deng, MD, PhD.
Dr Deng is Interim Chief, Integrative Medicine Service, and Attending Physician at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He discussed the Integrative Oncology approach to cancer, including the responsibility of the practitioners to be in good health, so that patients are helped to the greatest potential. Integrative Oncology engages the whole person, from body-mind-spirit through family, society and environment. He also told us about Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Hospital’s About Herbs smartphone app designed to guide people to using herbal remedies for safe self-use. Dr Deng was the first presenter of the day to mention self-care as an important tool in a patient’s disease response. He also described cancer survivors as ambassadors of healthy living to family and friends, suggesting a personal responsibility of sharing health.
Dr Suzanna Zick, ND, MPH
Dr. Zick is Research Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine at the University of Michigan Health System. She discussed cancer-related fatigue, psycho-oncology, and the usefulness of patients self-administering acupressure to relieve fatigue and sleep disruption. She noted that higher levels of inflammatory cytokines increase fatigue symptoms. She discussed the usefulness of tailored treatment, matching the patient with the specific care tools for best outcome.
Dr Beverly de Valois
Dr de Valois is Research Acupuncturist at Mount Vernon Cancer Center in the United Kingdom. She offered a comprehensive discussion about lymphedema. This condition can occur years after cancer diagnosis and treatment. She brought attention to the gap between treatment standards and research. The skin barrier is critically important to preventing this terrible condition, yet our standard medical practices do not protect skin integrity. PhD
Dr. Jun Mao, MSCE
Dr. Mao is Associate Professor, Perelman School of Medicine at University of Pennsylvania. He encouraged innovative trial designs to tease out reproducible approaches to cancer treatment. He also mentioned research that shows very little outcome difference between sham acupuncture and pills.
Dr Helene Langevin, MD
Dr Langevin is the Director of the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Harvard Medical School & Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She discussed the similar effects of acupuncture and manual therapy, pointing out that both result in the mechanical movement of tissue. She discussed the immune function of Connective Tissue as the conduit by which water, proteins and immune cells return to the blood via lymph system. The lymph system has a more significant role in the body than we have known. She also noted that stretching reduces inflammation.