Cancer care goes far beyond surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Research from all over the globe shows that the best outcomes come from comprehensive interdisciplinary approaches that focus not only on eradicating tumors, but also on optimizing health, minimizing side effects and helping people restore strength and vitality.
Primary care clinicians have a large role to play in adjunctive cancer care, as well as in helping patients prevent cancer, especially those with multiple lifestyle-based risk factors. The place of primary care in cancer prevention and management is the focus this year's Advances in Cancer Strategies conference, April 20-22, at the Stamford Plaza Hotel, Stamford, CT.
Produced by the Health Medicine Academy (HMA), this conference—now in its second year—is quietly emerging as the nation's premier forum for practical, integrative and cross-disciplinary approaches to cancer care and prevention.
HMA was founded several years ago by Robert Zieve, MD, a Phoenix-based physician who has spent years exploring a wide range of modalities beyond the bounds of conventional allopathy, and Eve Greenberg, MA, a Boulder-based nutrition counselor with deep experience in business management. The association is committed to "a deep transformation" in medical culture, practice and education.
The cancer conference is one of several innovative programs produced by HMA. This year's symposium brings together a wide spectrum of presenters and perspectives, including medical oncologists and radiologists from some of the nation's top cancer care centers, as well as community based naturopathic physicians and herbalists deeply engaged in cancer care. The goal? To distill the aggregate wisdom of diverse healing disciplines, review current research, and share practical, field-tested strategies for preventing cancer and treating patients struggling with it.
Highlights of the conference include:
Bharat Aggarwal, PhD: Anti-Inflammatory Life Style for Prevention and Treatment of Cancer: Facts and Fiction
Dr. Aggarwal, a Distinguished Professor of Cancer Research at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, will focus on the role of chronic systemic inflammation in the etiology of many types of cancer, and the preventive and therapeutic interventions that can attenuate the process.
Well-recognized common cancer risk factors including exposure to radiation, environmental pollutants, high calorie intake, use of tobacco, and many others share a common link in that they induce inflammation, particularly through activation of transcription factors STAT3 and NF-kB. Dr. Aggarwal has shown that constitutively active NF-kB and STAT3 is found in most types of cancer, and that the hypoxic and acidic conditions seen in most solid tumors further activate inflammatory transcription factors. Unfortunately, so do many chemotherapeutic drugs and radiotherapy.
Downregulation of NF-kB and STAT3 can inhibit solid tumor proliferation and invasion. The good news is that many fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices are loaded with naturally occurring compounds that suppress both of these key inflammatory signals. Dr. Aggarwal, one of the world's leaders in research on immunology and apoptosis, believes this opens up real possibilities for the application of "food as medicine" in cancer care.
Hal Gunn, MD: Site Specific Immunotherapy: A Simple, Safe and Promising Novel Approach to Cancer Immunotherapy
Dr. Gunn, a co-founder of InspireHealth, Canada's leading integrative cancer center, will highlight the role of tumor associated macrophages (TAMs) in determining the growth potential (or lack thereof) of tumor tissue. Within the microenvironment of a tumor, TAMs can play a "pro-cancer" role that suppresses the host immune system, enables tumor tissue repair, and promotes tumor growth, or they can play an "anti-cancer" role by triggering strong and focused immune system attacks on tumor tissue.
Site Specific Immunotherapy (SSI), is an emerging modality that involves injecting antigens to stimulate TAMS to shift into the anti-cancer mode. The validity of the concept has been proven in tissue culture and animal studies. Dr. Gunn is at the forefront of international research aimed at making SSI a practical clinical reality. Preliminary clinical studies show that SSI can increase survival in people with late-stage lung, colon, and breast cancer.
Barry Boyd, MD: Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Cancer: The Role of the Insulin/ IGF system on the Origins and Outcome of Cancer
Dr. Boyd, an oncologist who is also Director of the Nutrition and Integrative Medicine Curriculum at Yale, will explore the ways in which insulin resistance, hyperglycemia and other dysfunctions associated with diabetes set the metabolic stage for cancer development. Insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF) may be important mediators of cancer risk.
Drawing on his recently published book, The Cancer Recovery Plan, Dr. Boyd will focus on how prenatal and early postnatal influences of the insulin/IGF system affect cancer risk later in life, and how diet and lifestyle interventions can attenuate these factors to improve outcomes when used in conjunction with conventional cancer therapies.
Jim Roach, MD & Donald Yance, CN: The Eclectic Triphasic Medical System (ETMS): A Comprehensive, Collaborative Approach to Managing Cancer & Healing the Whole Person.
The Eclectic Triphasic Medical System (ETMS) offers a holistic framework for utilizing botanical and nutritional medicines along with dietary and lifestyle modification, and pharmaceuticals to promote an optimal state of health while managing and often reversing disease. In the context of cancer care, ETMS provides a practical way for clinicians to assess both the tumor and the "terrain"(microenvironment), and develop multi-modal treatments that strengthen host responses and make the terrain inhospitable for cancer but conducive for optimal health.
Donnie Yance, a highly respected herbalist and founder of the Mederi Center for Natural Healing in Ashland, OR, and Dr. James Roach, founder of the Midway Center for Integrative Medicine in Kentucky, will outline the theoretical framework of ETMS, as well as specific and practical applications in the care of people with cancer. They'll share real-world case studies to illustrate the healing possibilities inherent in this comprehensive system that facilitates a shift from "making war" on cancer, to supporting, sustaining, and preserving life.
Mary Hardy, MD: Integrative Cancer Care in America
Since founding the Integrative Medicine Clinic at Cedars-Sinai in 1998, Dr. Hardy has been at the forefront of the movement to bring natural therapeutics into the mainstream of cancer care. Currently the Medical Director of the Simms/Mann-UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology, Dr. Hardy will take a close look at how evidence-based research in nutrition, botanical medicine and other aspects of integrative medicine is being implemented at cancer centers and clinics across the country.
A tireless advocate for increased research to explore the potential benefits of non-allopathic treatments, Dr. Hardy will share her picks for the most well supported, safe, and effective nutraceuticals and phytomedicines for improving outcomes in various forms of cancer.
Bernie Siegel MD: Reflections on the Art of Healing and Living
This keynote address will draw on Dr. Siegel's 30 years of experience working with people who are confronting serious life challenges, and will underscore the role of love, hope, humor, spirituality, desire and intention in the art of "healing our lives and not just an individual's dis-ease."
Originally trained as a surgeon at Yale, where he eventually became a professor of general and pediatric surgery, Bernie—as he prefers to be called—put down his scalpel in 1989 and began a long and ongoing exploration of the ways in which mind, body memories, thoughts and feelings influence health. During his talk, Bernie will share slides depicting his work with art to help patients uncover the hidden symbolism connected with their self-image, relationships and treatment choices.
Building on the work initially described in his breakthrough 1986 book, Love, Medicine & Miracles, and his Exceptional Cancer Patients programs, Bernie will show how these art-based techniques can be used to empower people to live fully and also to die free of conflict, when all therapeutic options have been exhausted.
A strong believer in the idea that doing is more convincing than simply hearing, Bernie will lead attendees in guided imagery and drawing exercises that will help them uncover the hidden messages in their own understandings of self. The presentation is aimed at providing those who attend with, "wisdom derived from the experience of the teachers of the past so they can have a happier future, live a longer healthier life and understand the role of love, humor, inspiration, information, guilt and blame in making one vulnerable to disease."
Other topics featured at this year's Cancer Strategies conference include: The Role of Cannabis in Cancer Care, with Donald Abrams, MD; Advanced Modalities for Supportive Care, with Dickson Thom, ND, DDS; Principles of Integrative Cancer Medicine, with Dwight McKee, MD; Botanical Medicine (Traditional Chinese & Western) in Cancer Care, with Jason Miller, LAc & Jonathan Treasure; Integrative Approaches to Pediatric Oncology, with Agnes Horvath, MD; Cancer Ablation & Image Guided Cancer Therapies, with Jason Williams, MD; Laser-Based Assessment of Anti-Cancer Effects of Natural Products, with John Boik, PhD; and much more.
The program is accredited for approximately 20 AMA Category 1 CME credits.
In conjunction with the conference, the Mederi Foundation will hold a fund-raising soiree on Saturday April 21, featuring fantastic food and entertainment by comedian David Brenner. Proceeds will benefit Mederi, an organization founded by Donnie Yance, to provide comprehensive holistic care to cancer patients, and to train health care professionals in the principles and practices of ETMS.
Holistic Primary Care is proud to partner with the Healthy Medicine Academy as a sponsor of this dynamic and transformative conference. We look forward to seeing you in Stamford this Spring!
For more information about Advances in Cancer Strategies, contact the Healthy Medicine Academy: (303) 499-1223, . Rooms are available at the Stamford Plaza Hotel at a special group rate of $129/night. Call (203) 359-1300