CAM therapies should be subjected to more clinical research

But can we afford the cost?

Drs. Bertrand Graza and Jacques Falqueta from Antenna Technologie in Geneva, Switzerland, and Prof. Elaine Elisabetsky from the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul in Porto Alegre, Brazil believe we can, and here’s how.

“Contrary to a commonly held myth,” the authors state that “clinical studies can be conducted at relatively low cost if one works with local/regional research institutes and with doctoral students, focusing on meaningful clinical measures rather than sophisticated laboratory analyses.”

There are 3 types of studies that should be the focus of CAM research.

  • Retrospective trial: A study looking back in time, so the outcomes have occurred to the participants before the study commences. One example is called a case-control study.
  • Prognosis?outcome study: Patients with predetermined conditions are treated and, according to the authors, have modern physicians observing progress of patients treated by a traditional healer.
  • Dose?escalating prospective study: Study in humans (healthy or ill) in order to detect a relationship between the dose of a drug and the response to it.

The bottom line?
It’s suggested, “this approach offers the best cost-effective course of action for obtaining maximal benefits from traditional medicines, especially those used for treating endemic diseases.”

9/13/07 20:29 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.