Cancer is diagnoses in over one million Americans annually and costs the national over $70 billion annually. However, an estimated 50 percent of cancer patients spend upwards of $25 billion annually on alternative medicine (AM): most patients combine AM with conventional treatment. The efficacy of AM remains uncertain in the absence of interpretable clinical data; thus, rigorous scientific research is needed. In response to this need, the University of Texas Center for Alternative Medical Research in Cancer (UT-CAM), a university-based consortium housed within the Texas Medical Center, will serve as a conduit for attracting AM practitioners and for conducting scientific investigations of AM for cancer treatment. The Principal aim of the Center is to 1) evaluate the efficacy of biopharmacologic/herbal therapies for cancer prevention and treatment. Secondary aims are to 2) establish a network of AM practitioners and researchers for collaborative research and 3) improve self-assessment skills of AM practitioners and researchers. To achieve these aims, UT-CAM will use the infrastructure of the Center for Health Promotion Research and Development (UTSPH) at The University of Texas School of Public Health with a core of faculty and staff who are experienced in all phases of research from proposal conceptualization, development, and submission to project management and program evaluation. The Center will form interdisciplinary teams with biomedical and behavioral research experts from affiliated units in the Texas Medical Center and The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. The center will assess the state of the science of biopharmacologic/herbal natural AM therapies, establish a research agenda on the most promising therapies, provide technical assistance to AM practitioners, and develop collaborative research.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Resource-Related Research Projects--Cooperative Agreements (U24)
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Special Emphasis Panel (SSS (S2))
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University of Texas Health Science Center Houston
Schools of Public Health
United States
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Ezzo, Jeanette; Vickers, Andrew; Richardson, Mary Ann et al. (2005) Acupuncture-point stimulation for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. J Clin Oncol 23:7188-98
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