Correlation between an integrative oncology treatment program and survival in patients with advanced gynecological cancer

Yakir Segev, Ofer Lavie, Nili Stein, Walid Saliba, Noah Samuels, Eiman Shalabna, Orit Gressel Raz, Elad Schiff, Eran Ben-Arye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Integrative oncology (IO) is increasingly becoming part of palliative cancer care. This study examined the correlation between an IO treatment program and rates of survival among patients with advanced gynecological cancer. Methods: Patients were referred by their oncology healthcare professionals to an integrative physician (IP) for consultation and IO treatments. Those undergoing at least 4 treatments during the 6 weeks following the consultation were considered adherence to the integrative care program (AIC), versus non-adherent (non-AIC). Survival was monitored for a period of 3 years, comparing the AIC vs. non-AIC groups, as well as controls who did not attend the IP consultation. Results: A total of 189 patients were included: 71 in the AIC group, 44 non-AIC, and 74 controls. Overall 3-year survival was greater in the AIC group (vs. non-AIC, p = 0.012; vs. controls, p = 0.003), with no difference found between non-AIC and controls (p = 0.954). Multimodal IO programs (≥ 3 modalities) were correlated in the AIC group with greater overall 3-year survival (p = 0.027). Greater rates of survival were also found in the AIC group at 12 (p = 0.004) and 18 months (p = 0.001). When compared with the AIC group, a multivariate analysis found higher crude and adjusted hazard ratios for 3-year mortality in the non-AIC group (HR 95% CI 2.18 (1.2–3.9), p = 0.010) and controls (2.23 (1.35–3.7), p = 0.002). Conclusion: Adherence to an IO treatment program was associated with higher survival rates among patients with advanced gynecological cancer. Larger prospective trials are needed to explore whether the IO setting enhances patients’ resilience, coping, and adherence to oncology treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4055-4064
Number of pages10
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • Adherence to the integrative care (AIC)
  • Complementary alternative medicine (CAM)
  • Integrative oncology
  • Integrative physician (IP)
  • Supportive and palliative care
  • Survival rates


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