In the News
Children’s Use of Complementary Health Approaches
A new report based on data from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS)* found that nearly 12 percent of children aged 4 to 17 years use complementary health approaches. Although this was not a significant change from the previous survey in 2007, there were significant increases in children’s use of yoga, fish oil, and melatonin. The complementary health approach most commonly used by children was natural products (dietary supplements other than vitamins and minerals) at almost one-quarter the adult rate (4.9 percent vs. 17.6 percent). This issue of the digest highlights findings from the survey, which aims to provide the most current and comprehensive picture of U.S. children’s use of complementary health approaches, and may give you insight into your own patients’ use of these products and practices.
*The complementary health questionnaire was developed by NIH’s National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (formerly NCCAM) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. The questionnaire is administered every 5 years as part of the NHIS, an annual study in which tens of thousands of Americans are interviewed about their health- and illness-related experiences. The 2012 survey results are based on combined data from 17,321 interviews with a knowledgeable adult about children aged 4 to 17 years.
For additional information visit https://nccih.nih.gov/.
A Physical Therapy Exceeds Medical Success Treating Female Infertility
A 10-year study of 1,392 infertile women treated with a hands-on physical therapy called the Clear Passage Approach equaled, and often exceeded, standard medical treatments for the most common causes of female infertility, including both hormonal and structural conditions. Available in the US and England, the therapy opened totally blocked fallopian tubes—previously thought impossible without surgery—and achieved pregnancy rates double those of surgery.
The multi-site study, published in the US peer-reviewed journal Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, had positive results for women who were infertile due to hormonal conditions. Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is the primary cause of female infertility, per the US Office on Women’s Health, because it interferes with ovulation. More than 53 percent of infertile women with PCOS became pregnant after receiving therapy—roughly double the success rates of surgery and drugs cited in the study. Comparable with surgery, 43 percent of women diagnosed infertile with endometriosis became pregnant after the therapy. The authors were encouraged that women diagnosed subfertile or infertile due to high FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone), which occurs as a woman approaches menopause, had a 39 percent pregnancy rate.
Women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) also saw improvement. Pregnancy rates were 56 percent for women who received therapy before IVF transfer, versus the national average of 37 percent during the decade-long study. The largest difference was in women older than age 40, where participants had an IVF pregnancy rate 3 to 5 times higher than the norm.
The therapy, which can feel like a deep massage and occurs over five days for a total of 20 hours, focuses on decreasing adhesions—the internal scars that form in the body after surgery or infection. It was developed over 25 years by physical therapist Belinda Wurn and her husband Larry, a massage therapist, to help decrease debilitating adhesions that formed in Belinda after pelvic surgery and radiation therapy.
“My personal struggle with painful adhesions and our decades of study in this area are turning a very bad experience into something quite positive,” she said.
Richard King, MD, a gynecologist-surgeon and the medical director for the study, said, “This landmark study can profoundly change the way physicians treat infertility in women. The treatment appears to reverse adhesive bonding and allow structures to move more freely, as they did earlier in life. When that happens, reproductive function clearly improves dramatically.”
Treatment is available at Clear Passage locations in several US cities and in the United Kingdom. To read the study, get complete success rates, or for more information, visit clearpassage.com.
Source: Clear Passage
ABOIM Welcomes Inaugural Class of Board Certified Integrative Medicine Specialists
The American Board of Integrative Medicine (ABOIM) has announced that 121 integrative medicine physicians have attained board certification in the field as a result of successfully completing the initial board examinations. This marks an important milestone in the evolution and maturation of the emerging specialty.
“These integrative medicine board-certified physicians are now able to present themselves as doctors who incorporate the concepts of disease management, health promotion, illness prevention, and healthy lifestyle into their medical practices—all elements necessary to provide the best possible health care to patients,” said ABOIM chair Randy Horwitz, MD, PhD.
Candidates interested in pursuing ABOIM certification must meet specific eligibility requirements. The deadline for the next exam is May 1, 2015. Complete requirements, along with the application and examination information, are available online at aboim.org.
“ABOIM offers qualified physicians an accepted and formal way to demonstrate their mastery of knowledge, competencies, experience, and commitment to integrative medicine,” added Horwitz.
Medical Report Confirms "Inside the Artery" Therapy Vastly Improves Stroke Patient Outcomes
"This clinical trial proves beyond any doubt that inside the artery therapy is the best possible treatment for patients suffering an acute ischemic stroke from a large artery occlusion," according to Donald Frei, MD, neuro interventional surgeon at Swedish Medical Center and Radiology Imaging Associates in Englewood, CO. He's also coauthor of a worldwide medical report published this week by the New England Journal of Medicine which confirms that a clot retrieval procedure known as endovascular treatment (ET) dramatically improves patient outcomes after stroke.
And he should know. He's considered one of the nation's preeminent neurological specialists, with Swedish Medical Center hand-picked as one of only six stroke centers in the US to participate in this groundbreaking medical study.
The clinical trial, known as ESCAPE (Endovascular treatment for Small Core and Anterior circulation Proximal occlusion with Emphasis on minimizing CT to recanalization times) presented overwhelming evidence that ET improves patient outcomes from 29 percent to 53 percent.
In many cases, according to the report, instead of suffering major neurological disability, patients went home to resume their lives, regaining full independence. The overall mortality rate was reduced from 2 in 10 patients for standard of care treatment to 1 in 10 patients—a 50 per cent reduction with ET.
Pamela Nelson suffered a stroke last June and was treated at Swedish Medical Center by Dr. Frei using this procedure.
"I feel I've fully recovered," Nelson said from her Denver home. "I wouldn't be here without this treatment. Swedish is the place for stroke care."
ET is performed by inserting a thin tube into the artery in the groin, through the body, and into the brain vessels to the clot. This is done under image-guided care using an X-ray. The clot is then removed and pulled out, restoring blood flow to the brain.
Dr. Frei, who is also the President-Elect of the Society of Neuro Interventional Surgery with headquarters in Fairfax, VA, has been successfully treating stroke patients with "inside the artery" therapy for several years in his practice, and trusts the findings of this clinical trial.
"The vast majority of our patients benefit from ET," he said. "But the key factor is time. The patient's best chance for an independent outcome is to get to a comprehensive stroke center as fast as possible."
Swedish Medical Center is Colorado's First Comprehensive Stroke Center, and cares for more stroke patients than any other hospital in the state. Currently, they are participating in a dozen neurovascular disease trials. According to the hospital's President and CEO Mary M. White, their success is a team effort.
"Our team of physicians and staff are working together to deliver the best patient care and the most exceptional outcomes in our multi-state region," White said. "The results of the ESCAPE study provide more evidence that Swedish Medical Center truly is Colorado's No. 1 brain team. Our care is collaborative, multi-disciplinary, and the most advanced, evidence-based care available. I am proud of what we're able to offer our patients and community."
695,000 Americans suffer an acute ischemic stroke each year, and it should always be treated as a medical emergency.
"Stroke is still the leading cause of adult disability," Dr. Frei added. "But with clot retrieval, we can get most people back to independence."
Source: Swedish Medical Center
Riordan Clinic IVC Academy Teaches Doctors About the Use of High Dose Vitamin C.
The Riordan Clinic is hosting its 2nd Riordan IVC Academy on March 13th and 14th at La Concha Resort in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The IVC Academy will introduce the concepts of high dose intravenous vitamin C (IVC) as an adjunctive clinical therapy. Medical professionals from around the world will attend the conference and take a collaborative look at the use of IVC therapy as a safe and effective adjunct to conventional approaches.
Thirty years ago, Dr. Hugh Riordan treated his first cancer patient with high doses of intravenous vitamin C. The patient was a 70 year-old gentleman with kidney cancer and metastasis to the liver and lungs. Dr. Riordan offered to treat this cancer patient "palliatively" with 30 grams of ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) intravenously twice a week. After 15 months of therapy, the cancer was gone.
Some 70,000 vitamin C infusions later, Dr. Riordan and his research team demonstrated scientific evidence to support the use of high dose ascorbate in the adjunctive care of cancer patients. Studies at the US National Institutes of Health have since replicated and advanced these findings.
Interest continues to grow through practitioners from around the world who have adopted the freely accessible "Riordan IVC Protocol" for the administration of high dose IVC for the treatment of cancer, viral infections and other health concerns in a non-toxic fashion.
The Riordan Clinic hopes to continue this bold new initiative by hosting several IVC Academy's across the world over the next couple years. More information on the Riordan IVC Academy can be found online at: IVCacademy.org
For more information about vitamin c research and the Riordan IVC Protocol, visit:
TAP Integrative Launches an Online Educational Community for Integrative Practitioners
TAP Integrative announces the launch of an online educational community resource dedicated to furthering the evidence-informed and experience-based knowledge between integrative practitioners. TAPintegrative.org is a membership site designed for “on-demand” access to clinically reviewed and science-based clinical practice topics and research, leading clinical experts, and a community of integrative healthcare professionals. A nonprofit organization founded and sponsored by Integrative Therapeutics, TAP’s mission is truly unique.
“TAP stands for the teaching, advocacy, and practice of integrative medicine,” said Dr. Lise Alschuler, executive director of TAP. “Our goal is to support the community of practitioners that are committed to the practice of integrative medicine. Since education and practical knowledge are both necessary for continued growth in our practices, it’s exciting to see TAP Integrative become a resource that can provide both. Our hope is that TAP soon becomes the go-to trusted resource for deepening and advancing clinical expertise.”
TAP’s content is presented in multiple formats, including video discussions, audio abstracts, blogs, case discussions, graphic overviews, research reviews, and patient education tools. The website is designed so that the practitioner can quickly take away key insights from a clinical topic or can delve deeply into the topic. Collaboration between members also takes place by exchanging best practices in the member forum, or by directly asking the subject experts. TAP offers members a number of unique benefits including access to a drug-nutrient interaction database and, in collaboration with institutional member, Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, a digital article retrieval service.
“A TAP member can learn from either experts or experienced peers in various fields of practice, with the flexibility to access learning on their own schedule,” continues Dr. Alschuler. “Membership is available to healthcare professionals and students. TAP encourages sharing experiences and will become a tool to improve your daily practice. The ultimate goal and outcome of TAP is truly to improve patient outcomes.”
Dr. Alschuler shares further insight into the development of TAP Integrative here: TAP Integrative Launches Online Educational Community. To learn more about the membership portal, visit TAPIntegrative.org.
Source: TAP Integrative
Bacteria: New Weapon in Cancer Battle, CIO 2015 Study Suggests
While bacteria can cause nasty infections, a weakened version of them also kill cancer cells, suggests first-in-man research being presented at the seventh annual Symposium on Clinical Interventional Oncology (CIO), in collaboration with the International Symposium on Endovascular Therapy (ISET).
Researchers injected a weakened strain of Clostridium novyi (or C. novyi-NT) bacteria spores into tumors. Imaging evidence demonstrated that the bacteria grew in the tumors and killed cancer cells.
“When tumors reach a certain size, parts of them do not receive oxygen, which makes them resistant to conventional therapies such as radiation and chemotherapy,” said researcher Ravi Murthy, MD, professor of interventional radiology at MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston. “C. novyi-NT thrives under these conditions, hones in on the low-oxygen areas, and destroys tumors from the inside while sparing normal tissue.”
A close relative of the bacteria that cause botulism, C. novyi lives in soil. Researchers have removed the lethal toxin so the bacteria are weakened. In the study, they injected the resulting C. novyi-NT spores through the skin under radiographic guidance into tumors in six people. Growth of C. novyi was confirmed when computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of the treated tumors showed gas pockets and evidence of necrosis, or cell death. Fever and elevated white blood cell count provided further evidence that the bacteria were growing and destroying cancer cells.
Once inside the tumor, the C. novyi-NT spores germinate, kill tumor cells, and then feast on the waste. C. novyi-NT bacteria stop growing and die when exposed to oxygen, which is abundant in healthy tissue. C. novyi-NT also is known to provoke an immune response against the cancer.
“Essentially, C. novyi-NT causes a potent cancer-killing infection in the tumor,” said principal investigator Filip Janku, MD, associate professor in the Department of Investigation Therapeutics and the MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston.
Six patients have been treated to date. Five are alive and one died from unrelated causes after seven months.
Source: Symposium on Clinical Interventional Oncology, International Symposium on Endovascular Therapy; ISET.org/oncology