Dr. Debu Tripathy on Integrative Oncology
Debu Tripathy, MD, co-leader, Women's Cancer Program, Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Southern California, discusses integrative oncology, which is a treatment approach that combines evidence-based complimentary or alternative medicine with standard oncology care.
For example, Tripathy says, acupuncture has a lot of evidence behind it in the field of arthritis and it has proven to alleviate fatigue and nausea in patients with cancer. There is currently a study underway that is investigating acupuncture for aromatase inhibitor-induced arthralgia in early stage cancers.
Tripathy says his institution, the University of Southern California, is working on developing a center for integrative oncology. The center will bring together the community in order to make an interdisciplinary group that includes medicine, art, philosophy, and more.Tripathy says the center will study modalities that have a strong track record historically such as botanical medicine, herbal therapies, and yoga.
The goal of the center is to study these approaches to learn what works so that it can be integrated in the standard of care. Tripathy believes that patients deserve cancer care that is broad-based, open-minded, and evidence-based.