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J Altern Complement Med. 2011 Nov;17(11):1043-9. doi: 10.1089/acm.2010.0471.

A pilot study of website information regarding aromatase inhibitors: dietary supplement interactions.

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University of Washington School of Pharmacy, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.



Patients who have hormone receptor-positive breast cancer and who are taking aromatase inhibitors (AIs) should understand the benefits and risks of concomitant dietary supplement (DS) use. The International Society for Integrative Oncology (SIO) encourages patients to discuss DS use with their health care practitioners. The objective was to conduct a pilot study rating Internet websites from the perspective of health care practitioners for information about AI-DS interactions.


Five (5) Internet websites suggested by SIO were evaluated using the DISCERN instrument rating tool. The available AI-DS information on these websites was rated by 4 evaluators: 2 naturopathic doctors, 1 oncology pharmacy resident, and a pharmacy student.


The overall rankings ranged from 1.6 to 3.9, with considerable variability in the type of information available from the websites. The interevaluator rankings of the websites ranged from 0.44 to 0.89. The evaluators consistently found the most reliable, unbiased, and comprehensive information on AI-DS interactions at the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center websites. However, more than one database was needed for provision of optimal patient information on AI-DS interactions.


In order to effectively advise patients regarding AI-DS interactions, more than one website should be evaluated to assess the potential efficacy and safety of DS in women whose breast cancer is being treated with an AI.

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