Send to

Choose Destination
Cancer J. 2019 Sep/Oct;25(5):357-366. doi: 10.1097/PPO.0000000000000403.

Practical Application of "About Herbs" Website: Herbs and Dietary Supplement Use in Oncology Settings.

Author information

From the Integrative Medicine Service, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY.


The Integrative Medicine Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center developed and maintains About Herbs (, which provides summaries of research data including purported uses, adverse effects, and herb-drug interactions for about 284 dietary supplements. Using Google Analytics, we found the website registered more than 26,317,000 hits since November 2002. The 10 most searched-for herbs/supplements of 2018 are chaga mushroom, turmeric, ashwagandha, reishi mushroom, graviola, Active Hexose-Correlated Compound, boswellia, dandelion, green tea, and Coriolus versicolor. Here we discuss their safety, herb-drug interactions, and appropriate uses in the oncology setting, based on literature searches in PubMed. Over the past 16 years, the evidence for use of these supplements is based mostly on preclinical findings, with few well-designed studies and limited trials conducted in cancer patients. It is important to familiarize health care professionals about popular supplements, so patients can be informed to make decisions that maximize benefits and minimize risks.

[Available on 2020-09-01]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wolters Kluwer
Loading ...
Support Center