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Merging the old with the new: a cybermedicine marriage for oncology interactions with traditional herbal therapies and complementary medicines

  • CELLMED
  • Abbr : CellMed
  • 2012, 2(2), pp.18-18
  • Publisher : Cellmed Orthocellular Medicine and Pharmaceutical Association
  • Research Area : Medicine and Pharmacy > General Medicine

Kevin Yi-Lwern Yap 1 Ken Juin Lim 2

1University of Warwick
2National University of Singapore

ABSTRACT

An oncology-specific database called OncoRx (http://bit.ly/cancerRx) was previously set up in cyberspace to aid clinicians in identifying interactions of anticancer drugs (ACDs) and chemotherapy regimens with traditional Chinese medicines (TCMs) and complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs). Since then, users have requested the drug-CAM interactions (DCIs) of 5 specific CAMs (cranberry, melatonin, co-enzyme Q10, huachansu, reishi mushroom) to be updated in the database. Pharmacokinetic properties (metabolism, enzyme induction/inhibition, elimination), TCM properties and DCIs of each CAM were collated with 117 ACDs using 9 hardcopy compendia and online databases as resources. Additionally, individual ACDs and CAMs were used as keywords for PubMed searches in combination with the terms ‘anticancer drugs’, ‘drug interactions’, ‘herb-drug/drug-herb interactions’, ‘pharmacokinetic interactions’ and ‘pharmacodynamic interactions’. DCI parameters consisted of interaction effects, evidence summaries, proposed management plans and alternative non-interacting CAMs, together with relevant citations and update dates of the DCIs. OncoRx is also used as a case to introduce the “Four Pharmaco-cybernetic Maxims” of quality, quantity, relationship and manner to developers of digital healthcare tools. Its role in Hayne’s “5S” hierarchy of research evidence is also presented. OncoRx is meant to complement existing DCI resources for clinicians and alternative medicine practitioners as an additional drug information resource that provides evidence-based DCI information for ACD-CAM interactions.

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