OTTAWA, October 21, 2014 – Ottawa researchers are receiving the largest-ever North
American grant intended to study the effectiveness of naturopathic medicine used in
combination with conventional medicine. The funding was announced today by the Ottawa
Integrative Cancer Centre (OICC), an arm of the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine
(CCNM), and the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute.

The $3.85 million grant, provided by a private Canadian foundation that wishes to remain
anonymous, will fund a project to develop and study the use of integrative treatments for
esophageal, gastric and lung cancer patients who will undergo surgery.

“This is an excellent opportunity for our top-notch researchers to demonstrate how innovation
and cooperation can lead to improved overall health outcomes,” said Rona Ambrose, Federal
Minister of Health. “The Canadian institutions involved in this research are world-class and we
look forward to the results of the trial.”

Called the Thoracic Peri-Operative Integrative Surgical Care Evaluation (Thoracic POISE), the
project’s goals are twofold. First, it will pioneer integrative care interventions (characterized by
different therapeutic approaches, health-care professionals and disciplines working together to
achieve optimal health and patient outcomes) to use before and after cancer surgery. Second, it
will fund a randomized controlled trial to evaluate if the integrative care approach reduces
adverse events and improves disease-free survival. A multi-centred network of Canadian
thoracic surgery centres, in partnership with naturopathic doctors, will collaborate over the next
11 years in this 300-patient study.

“We have assembled an outstanding team of investigators that includes surgeons, oncologists,
naturopathic doctors, PhD research specialists and a health economist,” said Dugald Seely,
project co-lead, Executive Director OICC, Director of Research CCNM, and affiliate investigator
with the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. “Lung cancer accounts for the highest incidence of
cancer deaths in Canada and we know that more than half of all cancer patients use
complementary therapies. This research will help determine when complementary care is
appropriate and may potentially lead to enhanced standards of medical practice that can
positively impact patients’ lives.”

“This study is an innovative whole-person approach involving naturopathic medicine integrated
with traditional care. It is more than a single intervention,” said project co-lead Dr. Andrew
Seely, an associate scientist at The Ottawa Hospital, director of research for its Division of
Thoracic Surgery and an associate professor at the University of Ottawa. “By using a welldesigned
randomized controlled trial to assess multiple evidence-based interventions that are
often found in real-life clinical practice, we hope to show that integrative cancer care improves
two critical problems simultaneously, namely adverse events after surgery and long-term cancer

When Terry Vida was diagnosed with cancer she worked with her medical and naturopathic
doctors to explore ways to combine naturopathic treatments with conventional treatments of
chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. Vida used supplements, acupuncture, exercise and
nutrition in her bid to do everything possible to deal with her cancer. “I have been cancer-free
for two years now,” said Vida, who is back at work as a partner with ConversArt Consulting and
completing her PhD in human and organizational systems. “I feel as though this approach
helped me a lot and it is through research such as this that we will really know.”

Bob Bernhardt, President and CEO of CCNM added, “There is an absolute need for an
enhanced evidence-base for naturopathic medicine. The Thoracic POISE trial focuses on
patient-centred research and is essential to proving the value and assessing the role that
naturopathic medicine could play in health care. CCNM and the OICC are committed to clinical
research in areas where we believe naturopathic medicine could improve health outcomes for

Pink Ribbons Screenshot

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and local naturopathic physicians in Campbell River want to contribute to this awareness. They are sponsoring a showing of the National Film Board documentary called Pink Ribbons Inc. The film is based on the book written by Samantha King Pink Ribbons Inc: Breast Cancer and the Politics of Philanthropy. King’s argument is that the pink-themed campaign promotes a quick-fix mentality, focuses too much on early screening and achieving a “cure” for the disease instead of researching causes and putting equal emphasis on harm from environmental contaminants.

Many of the corporate sponsors of Pink campaigns sell products that cause pollution, and/or are chemical companies that produce pesticides.  Some sponsors sell foods that promote disease rather than health.  And some sponsors are cosmetic companies that use carcinogens that may all contribute to the chemical environment that contributes to the risk of getting breast cancer.  In its review of the documentary, the Globe and Mail called this “pink washing.”  Read the review here.

Every day in their practices, naturopathic physicians focus on causes of diseases and ways to protect against environmental toxins. They want to educate their patients on how to get the chemicals out of their lifestyle: To eat organic, to use chemical free skin and hair products; to look at their estrogen dominance either from their diet or their use of prescription hormones; to look at deficiencies such as vitamin D and melatonin (especially in shift workers) as well as the role that inflammation plays in cancer cell proliferation.

The Ottawa Integrative Cancer Care clinic is the first of its kind in Canada where naturopathic physicians work closely with other health care providers, including oncologists, to provide cancer patients with optimal health care. They provide Whole Person Care for the body, mind and spirit, they Empower the patient to take care of themselves to prevent and treat cancer they Train and Educate practitioners as well as patients on preventive as well as integrative care, they provide Innovative Research and tools to improve the quality of life during and after conventional cancer treatments, and they promote Living Green to reduce exposure to environmental toxins that may impact cancer incidence, progression and recurrence.

On October 21 7-9:30 at the Community Center in Campbell River, Pink Ribbons Inc will be shown followed by a Q&A with a panel of NDs: Dr. Ingrid Pincott, Dr. Stacey Savard and Dr. Anita Komonski. Experience docere, the Latin word for doctor, which is “to teach.”

Pink Ribbons Inc Campbell River, October 21