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The National Cancer Institute best case series program: a summary of cases of cancer patients treated with unconventional therapies in India

Olaku O, Zia F, Santana JM, White JD. The National Cancer Institute Best Case Series Program: A Summary of Cases of Cancer Patients Treated With Unconventional Therapies in India. Integr Cancer Ther. Jan 25 2013.

OBJECTIVE: The National Cancer Institute (NCI) Best Case Series (BCS) Program provides an independent review of medical records, imaging, and pathology of cancer patients treated with unconventional therapies. The goal of the NCI BCS Program is to identify preliminary evidence of tumor regression and assess whether there is sufficient evidence to move forward with NCI-initiated research. The objective was to review case reports submitted by 4 practitioners from India who used ayurvedic and homeopathic therapies to treat cancer.

DESIGN:

Retrospective review of case reports of 4 practitioners from India who used ayurvedic and homeopathic therapies to treat cancer.

RESULTS:

A total of 68 cases were submitted to the NCI BCS Program. Fifty-one percent of the cases represented homeopathy and 49% ayurveda. Of the 68 cases, 32 (47%) of the cases were collectively designated as "persuasive" (P) or "supportive"(S), and 36 (53%) as "not evaluable." Forty-one (60%) patients did not have any prior conventional treatment.

CONCLUSION:

The challenge for submitters rests in their ability to supply sufficient documentation for the NCI BCS Program. The NCI BCS Program represents a unique avenue for the rigorous evaluation of "best cases" to identify complementary and alternative medicine modalities that are promising for prospective preclinical evaluation or prospective research.