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Acupuncture Today
March, 2005, Vol. 06, Issue 03
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News in Brief

By Editorial Staff

SCUHS to Host Acupuncture Symposium in April

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine students and professionals of all levels are invited to attend the Southern California University of Health Sciences College of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine's first annual AOM Spring Symposium, which will be April 2-3 on the college's campus in Whittier.

The symposium's theme, "Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine for Modern Diseases," will feature an array of topics presented by nationally recognized speakers, including Honora Lee Wolfe and Samuel Collins.

Other speakers whose knowledge and expertise are positively influencing the traditional Chinese medicine profession include Drs. San Hwang, Qing Hu and Yin Lo; David Snyder; and Jenny Yu. Marilyn Allen, Acupuncture Today's editor, will be the symposium's keynote speaker.

Symposium lecture topics will include "Natural Hormone Replacement Therapy"; "Treatment of HIV/AIDS in Oriental Medicine"; "Molecular Basis for Meridians and Quantum Theory for Qi"; "Herbs and Acupuncture for Cancer Patients"; "Workers' Comp/Insurance Billing"; "Acupuncture Protocol for Preventing Breast Cancer"; and "Starting Your Acupuncture Practice: Less Stress and More Success."

An "Herbal Essence" dinner will follow Saturday's lectures in the Medicinal Herb Garden on campus, which a traditional dragon dance. For more information, visit, e-mail Mylinh Nguyen at , or call (619) 339-0470.

Bastyr Receives NIH Funding to Study Mushroom Extracts to Treat Cancer

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine has awarded Bastyr University a three-year, $792,000 grant to study the effects of certain species of mushrooms in strengthening the body's immune response to breast and prostate cancers. Research will be conducted in collaboration with the University of Minnesota, and will focus on a type of mushroom called the "turkey tail," which is commonly prescribed by practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine.

"By joining forces with Bastyr University, we will be able to combine our background in scientific research with their knowledge of naturopathic medicine," said Dr. Joel Slaton, an assistant professor of urologic surgery at the University of Minnesota and principal investigator for the grant.

The project includes two basic science studies and a clinical trial. Laboratory and animal studies will explore the mechanisms by which turkey tail mushroom extracts interact with immune response pathways that defend against the formation of tumor cells. In the clinical trial, the extract will be given to women in conjunction with traditional breast cancer treatments. Data from the trial will be used to design future clinical trials to test whether the extract can improve immune function in breast cancer patients after completing conventional treatment. While the clinical trial involves breast cancer, the results may have implications for prostate cancer patients as well.

"We're excited the NIH has provided us with this opportunity," said Dr. Cynthia Wenner, who will serve as principal investigator for Bastyr's portion of the research. "Medicinal mushroom therapy is not accepted as part of traditional cancer treatment in the United States, since no studies here have been conducted to assess safety and efficacy in people with specific cancers."

AOM Alliance Announces New Supplemental Insurance Program

The Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Alliance has announced a new program designed to provide supplemental insurance to acupuncture practitioners, students and other interested parties. The program, the outcome of cooperative agreements reached between the Alliance and the AFLAC and Mutual of Omaha insurance companies, allows Alliance members to receive discounts on a variety of products, including reduced rates on the insurers' supplemental health, disability, and life insurance policies.

"This represents a significant new service for our members," said Alliance Executive Director Michael McCoy, PhD. "The lower rates reflect the buying power of a group working together, as well as the recognition by these insurance companies that our members are especially health conscious and therefore pose less risk."

Access to the program is available to all individual Alliance members, regardless of membership category. For more information, contact the Alliance at (253) 851-6896.


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