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J Clin Oncol. 2004 Dec 1;22(23):4810-5.

Complementary and alternative medicine use by patients enrolled onto phase I clinical trials.

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  • 1Division of Medical Oncology, Department of Medicine, Mayo Foundation and Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN, USA.

Erratum in

  • J Clin Oncol. 2005 Jan 1;23(1):248.



To describe the prevalence, clinical characteristics, and pattern of use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in patients enrolled onto phase I trials.


Questionnaires were administered to 108 patients with advanced malignancies enrolled onto phase I chemotherapy trials at the Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center (Rochester, MN). CAM was classified into two modalities, pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic. Clinical and demographic data, including age, sex, and prior cancer treatment, were subsequently obtained from patient charts and examined for any correlation with CAM use, using chi2 analysis.


One hundred two survey forms were returned. Among respondents, 88.2% (90 of 102) had used at least one CAM modality; 93.3% (84 of 90) and 53.3% (48 of 90) had used pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic CAM, respectively; and 46.7% (42 of 90) used both modalities. Vitamin and mineral preparations constituted 89.3% (75 of 84) of all pharmacologic CAM used. Intake was highest for vitamins E (48.8% [41 of 84]) and C (38.1% [32 of 84]), and 71.4% (60 of 84) of respondents took nonvitamin/mineral agents. Green tea (29.8% [25 of 84]), echinacea (13.1% [11 of 84]), and essiac (9.5% [8 of 84]) were the most popular. Prayer and spiritual practices were the most commonly used nonpharmacologic CAM, accounting for 52.1% (25 of 48). Chiropractors, the most frequently visited nontraditional medicine practitioners, were consulted by only 10% (9 of 90) of those who practiced CAM. Both CAM modalities were used more frequently by women (53.5% [23 of 43]) than men (40.4% [19 of 47]).


CAM use is common among patients in phase I trials and should be ascertained by investigators, because some of the agents used may interact with investigational agents and affect adverse effects and/or efficacy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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