Office of Cancer Complementary
and Alternative Medicine (OCCAM)
The Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine (OCCAM) was established in October 1998 to coordinate the activities of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) with regard to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).
To improve the quality of care of cancer patients, as well as those at risk for cancer and those recovering from cancer treatment, by contributing to the advancement of evidence-based CAM practice and the sciences that support it as well as the availability of high-quality information for the health care community, researchers, and general public.
Role within NCI
- Encourages collaborations between cancer researchers and CAM practitioners through lectures, conferences, and workshops
- Identifies gaps in existing cancer CAM research and creates funding opportunities to increase the number of high quality studies on this topic
- Provides expert review of CAM content on behalf of NCI for Institute-supported projects and programs
- Identifying novel therapeutics in the pharmacopeia of traditional medical systems as defined by the World Health Organization
- Using complementary approaches to improve the therapeutic ratio of standard and investigational anti-cancer therapies
- Research on lifestyle modifications (e.g. diet, exercise, mind-body approaches) for their impact on cancer outcomes (e.g. response to conventional cancer therapy, survival)