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Vol. LVII, No. 12
June 17, 2005

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Lecture Discusses Traditional Chinese Medicine

NCI's Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine held its fourth Invited Speakers Series program on May 5, featuring Dr. Lorenzo Cohen, who presented "Traditional Chinese Medicine for Cancer: The Road to China."

Dr. Lorenzo Cohen (l) greets attendees at his recent lecture on traditional Chinese medicine for cancer.  

Cohen is principle investigator and codirector of the International Center of Traditional Chinese Medicine for Cancer, a collaborative project between the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and Fudan University Cancer Hospital in China. The collaboration is partially funded by NCI.

Cohen described the use of western medical tools, such as medical imaging studies, that are guiding traditional Chinese medicine treatments at Fudan Cancer Hospital. He gave insight into some studies, including examination of huachansu (a bufotoxin excreted from parotid glands of Bufo toads) in preclinical studies at M.D. Anderson and in a phase I clinical study in advanced hepatocellular carcinoma, non-small cell lung cancer and pancreatic cancer at Fudan Cancer Hospital.

Huachansu is an important component of cancer treatment in China. Cohen discussed efforts to understand bufotoxin mechanisms of action, as well as quality control for this natural product. He also discussed some of the acupuncture and bio-behavioral projects administered through the international center and highlighted some unique opportunities that have come about as a result of this partnership. Opportunities include research training, long-term exchange between the two institutions and traditional Chinese medicine training.

Cohen is director of the integrative medicine program in the division of cancer medicine at M.D. Anderson. A video of his presentation is available at