Online event 'Integrative Oncology' the holistic approach to cancer care Leading experts answered questions about integrative treatment of cancer patients

On Wednesday 17 March 2021, the MEP Interest Group on Integrative Medicine and Health organised an event with leading experts in the field of Integrative Oncology and members of the European Parliament.

Around 40% of the cancer patients use Complementary Medicine

Patients with cancer often use Complementary Medicine methods such as acupuncture, meditation, herbs, and dietary supplements in addition to their conventional cancer treatment. A systematic review shows that the use of these methods in Europe is around 40% and varies across different European countries. Patients seek to optimize the therapeutic benefits of conventional treatment, minimize cancer symptoms or adverse effects from treatment, and enhance general well-being.

Evidence-based incorporation of Complementary Medicine

There is a growing body of evidence supporting the use of integrative therapies as effective supportive care strategies in cancer patients. Integrative Oncology is an emerging evidence-based field, incorporating Complementary Medicine modalities into traditional cancer care. Many leading academic cancer centres in North America and Europe are developing Integrative Oncology centres to ensure that the research into the use of Complementary Medicine modalities is conducted with scientific rigour. 

This event gave highly qualified information about

  • Integrative care for cancer and especially breast cancer
  • Holistic treatments such as mind-body techniques, acupuncture, herbs and dietary supplements
  • A good example of the collaboration between hospitals, universities and government

Online event Integrative Oncology - the holistic approach to cancer care

Agenda of the online event on Integrative Oncology

Moderator Michèle Rivasi MEP

  1. Welcome words MEP Michèle Rivasi
  2. Professor Dr Claudia Witt: Introduction into Integrative Cancer care and its evidence base
  3. Dr Petra Voiss: Integrative Cancer care at the Evang. Kliniken Essen-Mitte, Duisberg-Essen, Germany
  4. Dra Natàlia Eres: Imohe's Experience in Integrative Cancer care, Barcelona, Spain 
  5. Dr Jean-Lionel Bagot: Outpatients Department for Integrative Care (OPD-IC), All Saints Hospital Strasbourg, France
  6. Professor Dr Yvonne Samstag: Research and Practice Initiative “KIG BaWü”- Complementary and Integrative Health Care Provision for Baden-Württemberg, Germany
  7. Reactions by members MEP Interest Group 
  8. Reaction by Dr Paolo Guglielmetti, head of the Cancer Task Force at DG SANTE Directorate C
  9. Q&A session ZOOM and YouTube
  10. Conclusions by MEP Michèle Rivasi

Key speakers on Integrative Oncology - the holistic approach to cancer care

Professor Dr Claudia WittProfessor of Medicine at the University of Zürich, Switzerland. She is the director of the Institute for Complementary and Integrative Medicine, University Hospital of Zürich and is a senior researcher at the Institute for Social Medicine, Epidemiology and Health Economics of the Charité University in Berlin, Germany.

Dr med Petra Voiss, Senior physician at the Department of Internal and Integrative Medicine, Integrative Oncology and at the Interdisciplinary Breast Cancer Centre, Kliniken Essen-Mitte, an academic teaching hospital of the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany. She is a well-known researcher in the field of Integrative Medicine and Oncology.

Dra Natàlia Eres, Founder and Director of the Institute of Holistic Health, Medicine and Oncology IMOHE in Barcelona-Lleida, Spain. She is a medical oncology specialist at the Vall d'Hebron University Hospital, Barcelona, Spain and took training in several Complementary Medicine modalities.

Dr Jean-Lionel Bagot founded the first supportive care consultation in oncology in a hospital environment. Now he is a coordinating doctor at the department of Integrative Medicine of the Saint-Vincent Hospital Group in Strasbourg, and a lecturer at the Medicine and Pharmacy Faculty in Strasbourg University, France.

Professor Dr Yvonne Samstag, Professor of Cellular Immunology at the Medical Faculty of the University of Heidelberg, Germany. She is the spokesperson of the project "Research and Practice Initiative: Complementary & Integrative Health Care Baden-Württemberg (KIG)" and of the joint research project "Academic Centre for Complementary and Integrative Medicine" (AZKIM) funded by the Ministry of the State of Baden-Württemberg, Germany.

View the event on our YouTube channel EUROCAM_Network:

ENG version, Event Integrative Oncology - the holistic approach to cancer care

FR version, Event Integrative Oncology - the holistic approach to cancer care

MEP Interest Group on Integrative Medicine and Health

The Interest Group promotes Integrative Medicine and Health in all European Parliament public health policy. Integrative Medicine and Health bring conventional biomedicine and complementary medicine together in a coordinated way, focuses on the whole person and considers the individual in their physical, psychological, spiritual, social and environmental context. It offers an inclusive approach that meets the demand of EU citizens for a holistic, patient-centred approach in medicine.

The event is hosted by the members of the MEP Interest Group on Integrative Medicine & Health:

Michèle Rivasi, Greens/EFA, France

Sirpa Pietikäinen, EPP, Finland

Tilly Metz, Greens/EFA, Luxembourg

Eleonora Evi, Greens/EFA, Italy

Margrete Auken, Greens/EFA, Denmark

More about the MEP Interest Group on Integrative Medicine & Health can be read here.