Iris Bell, M.D., Ph.D.

University of Arizona
Evaluating the Effectiveness of an Integrative Approach to the Treatment of Lymphoma and Leukemia Utilizing a Comprehensive Retrospective and Prospective Study Design

Integrative Medicine is the application of additional approaches to mainstream conventional care in an integrated fashion. These approaches may include nutritional therapy, exercise, herbal medicine, spiritual healing, vitamin therapy, acupuncture, meditation, massage, and homeopathy, and others. Dr. Iris Bell’s team proposes to test the effectiveness of such an integrative approach to the treatment of lymphoma and leukemia.  This study will begin by looking at the medical records of approximately 100 cancer patients who received treatment from physicians enrolled in a two-year fellowship program at the University of Arizona's Program in Integrative Medicine (PIM). Using these records, Dr. Bell's team will identify the integrative approaches provided to these patients and evaluate their effectiveness. They will also interview patients and family members regarding their experiences, their responses to treatment, and their overall satisfaction with the treatment they received. Patients' needs and preferences regarding the delivery of an integrative approach to cancer treatment will also be identified and weighted. Additionally, all new patients coming to the PIM for treatment will be surveyed regarding their expectations of PIM, their knowledge of Integrative Medicine, and other factors that may contribute to the success of the program. This information will also be used to design study protocols that can be used to compare the integrative approach to treatment to other conventional and non-conventional forms of treatment. The ultimate goal of this research is to refine and implement the approach and generate data to support its effectiveness and acceptability to patients.