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In Vivo. 2007 Mar-Apr;21(2):423-8.

Review. Evidence-based complementary oncology. Innovative approaches to optimize standard therapy strategies.

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  • 1University of Cologne, Institute for Naturopathy, Joseph-Stelzmann-Strasse 9, 50931 Cologne, Germany.


Cancer diseases demand diagnostic and therapeutic measures with proven quality, safety and efficacy. The basis for evaluation is clinical studies representing levels I or II (randomized controlled trials (RCT) or epidemiological cohort studies) in accordance with recommendations of the Centre for Evidence-based Medicine, University of Oxford, UK Regarding these claims, surgery, chemo-, radio- and hormone therapy have emerged as the gold standard in the treatment of carcinomas. These therapies have proven their cancer destructive potencies and their curative feasibilities, dependent on the particular cancer entity and stage. Complementary therapies are recommended to support and optimize the scientifically-based cancer standard treatment. Complementary medicine is currently widely debated by the oncological community, because the required scientific proof of safety and effectiveness for most of the therapeutic approaches has not yet been definitively provided. In the past years, basic research and clinical evaluation of defined complementary therapeutic concepts in oncology have been intensified in an attempt to integrate these procedures into evidence-based medicine. Scientifically-based therapies of complementary medicine cannot replace the well studied conventional cancer-destructive therapies such as surgery, chemo-, radio- or hormone therapy. Accordingly, they are by no means "alternative therapies". Complementary approaches in oncology that are recommended as additional to standard cancer destructive therapies claim to optimize this therapy. A great body of data emerging from scientifically sound clinical trials prove that defined complementary procedures are beneficial for the patients.

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