CM Interactions with Cancer Treatments

Research presented today at the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia annual scientific meeting has said the 10 most commonly inquired about complementary medicines (CMs) have predicted or actual drug interactions when taken with chemotherapy, radiation therapy or surgery.

The research, yet to be published, involved 462 CM enquiries to Melbourne’s Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre from July 2011 to June 2013 for 330 different CMs, with the 10 most commonly enquired about (excluding vitamins and minerals) including fish oil (3.54%), turmeric (3.24%), coenzyme Q10 (2.63%) and milk thistle (2.44%).

Centre senior pharmacist Sally Brooks said larger amounts of these substances in CMs could cause contraindications and that more research was needed.

"What’s safe for one person may not be for another."

"In the meantime, we need to raise public awareness of proven and potential risks."


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Source:, Wednesday 3 December 2014