Background: Complementary medicines (CM), including homeopathy, acupuncture, and traditional Chinese medicine, have been introduced for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment in the Pitigliano Hospital Centre of Integrated Medicine in order to minimize the side effects of these treatments, which improves quality of life and adherence to conventional therapies.

Methods: Cancer patients (240) were enrolled in an integrated care model offering a comprehensive protocol including homeopathy and acupuncture, provided in line with the stage of the disease as well as in consideration of any comorbidities in individual patients. The following data were collected upon enrollment and also after 1-2 months of the integrated therapies:SF-12 quality of life (QoL) questionnaire;Edmonton symptom assessment scale (ESAS);and a questionnaire on the use of conventional medications.

Results: There was a 92.4% reduction in symptoms (as monitored by ESAS) caused by the patient’s disease or by comorbidities. The SF-12 revealed reduced fatigue and increased wellness, as well as good adherence to the cancer treatments. Additionally, a reduction in the use of conventional medications for side effects, good control of cancer symptoms, and an improved QoL was also observed. Conclusions: This study suggests the use of complementary medicines to reduce therapyrelated symptoms in oncologic patients without any adverse effects and to reduce the use of conventional drugs in this case.

Rosaria Ferreri *, Simonetta Bernardini, Franco Cracolici , Francesca Bechini
Hospital Centre of Integrated Medicine, Tuscany Reference Centre for Integrated Medicine in Hospitals, Pitigliano Hospital, Italy;

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