The CIT Group Executive have recently working on two COSA Council approved projects that aim to promote awareness of the emerging evidence-based, multidisciplinary field of complementary and integrative oncology.

Position statement on the use of complementary and alternative medicine by cancer patients

A multidisciplinary national working party chaired by Dr Lesley Braun (Monash University) has developed a position statement for health professionals treating cancer patients who choose to use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). The guiding questions for the position statement wereas follows:

  • What approach should a conventional health care provider take in the case of a patient who has decided to use a non-medical therapy as an alternative to medical cancer treatment and seeks the involvement of a conventional health care provider in this process?
  • What approach should be taken by a conventional health care provider in the case of a patient who has decided to use a non-medical therapy to complement medical cancer treatment and seeks the involvement of a conventional health care provider in this process in the case of therapies:
    • which are unlikely to do harm but for which there is evidence of potential benefit
    • for which  the evidence either for or against the treatment is equivocal
    • for which  there is no available scientific evidence indicating it may be of benefit or present potential harm
    • which are likely to do harm
  • What are the moral and legal responsibilities of a conventional health care provider when faced with these issues in a medical setting?

The final draft has been approved and is available here.

National Research Survey

A national online survey of COSA members is being conducted in order to gain a snap shot of recent and current (2012 – 2015) Australian research investigating the application of complementary and integrative therapies in oncology settings. The survey results will identify research gaps and may provide an impetus for funding bodies to offer greater opportunities in the field on complementary and integrative therapies in oncology.

The interest group will report on the results of the research audit at the 2013 COSA Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) in Adelaide.

Psycho-oncology Professional Day and Survivorship Workshop: COSA ASM 2013
Thriving not just surviving: living well with cancer at any age.

This workshop will be of interest to both clinicians and researchers and is brought to you by the COSA’s Psycho-oncology Group OZPOS, Survivorship Group, CIT Group and the Psycho-oncology Co-operative Research Group (PoCoG). This all day program aims to provide a multi-disciplinary forum to discuss current issues in psycho-oncology, including depression in men, distress screening and psychological interventions as part of clinical practice, as well a selection of presentations focusing on issues around complementary and alternative medicines and survivorship.