medical team
Integrative oncology (IO) is a rapidly expanding field of medicine that utilizes the most reliable evidence available to incorporate safe and effective complementary and integrative medicine (CIM) therapies alongside conventional cancer treatments.

IO represents an evidence guided and patient centered approach to cancer care that incorporates CIM interventions alongside conventional cancer treatments. It places paramount importance on safety and relies on the best available evidence to provide suitable CIM interventions in conjunction with standard care. To ensure cancer patients receive the best possible care, the team should include IO providers possessing core competencies in conventional oncology as well as IO, since knowing both is necessary to providing safe and effective care.

Surveys consistently show that the vast majority of cancer patients include CIM therapies into their treatment plans. As an increasing number of cancer patients turn to CIM, and as more and more research in this field becomes available, it is critical that the oncology team routinely check in on their patients’ utilization of these therapies. For this to be meaningful however, it is crucial to integrate team members who have received extra training in IO. Providers that are equipped with the necessary communication skills and competencies to assist patients in their IO decision-making processes. As it stands, most conventional oncology providers have limited to no knowledge on how to advise patients on the appropriate use and safety of CIM therapies.

Until now, specialized training opportunities tailored to oncology providers seeking to expand their expertise in the IO space have been completely absent. This represents a noteworthy concern in terms of healthcare quality, as the absence of education among conventional healthcare providers and the subsequent lack of communication between patients and providers can potentially result in harmful interactions and missed opportunities to include effective IO therapies that may benefit a patient’s quality of life. With the growing evidence for the safe and effective inclusion of IO therapies, it has become increasingly imperative for oncology providers to possess the knowledge, competencies, and skills required to engage in conversations about CIM therapies with their patients.
In fact, conventional oncology providers have consistently expressed a desire to be more informed and to receive more education about oncology specific CIM. However, until now oncology specific CIM training has been unavailable, except for a limited amount of residencies and fellowships specifically designed for physicians (MDs and NDs). However, this does not help train the rest of the multidisciplinary oncology team, and its growing professional diversity. Throughout IO, from oncologists, to nurses, palliative care doctors, pharmacists and other allied health professionals, there is a high demand for high quality IO training. To address this enormous gap in IO educational opportunities, Dr. Gurdev Parmar, founded The Integrative Oncology Institute.
The Integrative Oncology Institute has an incredible faculty of medical, radiation and naturopathic oncologists, as well as palliative care physicians. Our experienced faculty help students distinguish evidence-based IO therapies from those lacking sufficient evidence to substantiate their efficacy in enhancing various aspects of cancer care. Evidence-based IO therapies hold the potential to enhance the quality of life and overall survival for cancer patients, in a cost-effective manner. They can be used as a starting point for developing learning objectives and to establish IO education and training programs to meet the needs of cancer patients and health professionals. With many years of experience in the IO field, the faculty also share their best anecdotal and empirical clinical pearls.

The first educational opportunity being offered by the Integrative Oncology Institute, is the flagship Advanced Integrative Oncology Palliative Care Course. This self-paced online course includes 28 lectures (or modules) on each of the most seen symptoms in palliative care. Our faculty has worked for years in creating the most incredible educational training currently available on the best IO management of the most common symptoms and side effects managed day-to-day in oncology and palliative settings worldwide.

The decisions that patients make immediately following a cancer diagnosis have a significant and measurable effect on their outcomes. The scientific medical literature provides a wealth of information on various IO modalities with benefit, including nutrition, lifestyle modification, exercise, stress management, nutraceuticals, medicinal herbs and mushrooms, acupuncture, intravenous and injection therapies, hyperthermia, and other allied treatments venturing far beyond the basic conventional treatment paradigm. The body of evidence supporting these modalities expands by the day. Few conventional practitioners have the time, inclination, or requisite base knowledge to keep up with this new data in addition to the conventional approaches to treating cancer. Just as IO practitioners rely on their conventional colleagues to keep abreast of best practices, conventional practitioners must rely on IO doctors to ensure their patients are using natural therapies safely and effectively. This Advanced Integrative Oncology Palliative Care Course will help bridge the ongoing chasm between conventional and IO providers, providing a better understanding of IO care, and ultimately better outcomes for cancer patients.


Medicine, and more specifically, integrative oncology is an ever-changing science. As new research and clinical experience further inform our knowledge,

Medicine, and more specifically, integrative oncology is an ever-changing science. As new research and clinical experience further inform our knowledge, changes in the approach to treatment are required. The faculty, authors, editors and publishers of this work have checked with reliable sources in their efforts to provide complete and generally accepted standard information at the time of publication. However, due to potential human error and changes in medical science, the faculty, authors, editors and publisher nor any other party who has been involved in this work, warrant that the information contained herein absolutely accurate or complete, and they disclaim all responsibility for any errors or omissions or for the results obtained from use of the information contained in this work. Readers are always encouraged to verify the information contained herein with other reliable sources. For example, and in particular, readers are advised to verify integrative oncology treatment recommendations for specific symptoms and conditions to be certain that the information contained in this work is accurate, both now and in the future.
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