Research at the CHI

Research at the CHI is led by our CEO who serves as Executive Director for the Patterson Institute for Integrative Oncology Research. The Patterson Institute is responsible for the integrative and naturopathic oncology research conducted by the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM). This research is run through the CHI in Ottawa, in Toronto through CCNM’s Integrative Cancer Clinic, and other research partners to conduct clinical trials, observational studies, and synthesis research relating to complementary and integrative medicine most relevant to cancer.

Patterson

Research Summaries for Integrative Therapies

To support informed decision-making, we are committed to developing evidence-based research summaries for selected integrative cancer therapies. These summaries also called monographs, synthesize the safety and effectiveness of some of the more invasive and controversial complementary therapies used in the context of cancer.

Here you will find the research summaries we have published to date. There are patient versions (a quick summary) as well as health professional versions (a longer, fully cited and more detailed summary). We do our best to keep the monographs up to date, however please note that the monographs only encompass information known at the time of writing.

Patient Versions

Dichloroacetate (DCA) last updated June 2022
Intravenous Vitamin C
last updated December 2021
Locoregional Hyperthermia (LRHT)
last updated May 2021
Mistletoe (Viscum album) last updated January 2020
Coriolus Versicolor (Turkey Tail Mushroom) last updated October 2015
Acupuncture last updated February 2014
Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) last updated March 2014
Green Tea (Camellia sinensis) last updated February 2014
Black Cohosh for Breast Cancer last updated February 2014
Flax for Breast Cancer last updated February 2014
Red Clover for Breast Cancer last updated February 2014
Soy for Breast Cancer last updated February 2014
Vitamin D for Breast Cancer last updated February 2014

Health Professional Versions

Dichloroacetate (DCA) last updated June 2022
Intravenous Vitamin C
last updated December 2021
Locoregional Hyperthermia (LRHT)
last updated May 2021
Mistletoe (Viscum album) last updated January 2020
Coriolus Versicolor (Turkey Tail Mushroom) last updated October 2015
Acupuncture  last updated February 2014 
Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) last updated January 2014
Green Tea (Camellia sinensis) last updated January 2014 
Black Cohosh for Breast Cancer last updated August 2013
Flax for Breast Cancer last updated August 2013
Red Clover for Breast Cancer last updated August 2013
Soy for Breast Cancer last updated August 2013
Vitamin D for Breast Cancer last updated August 2013

Active and Ongoing Research Studies

Research Team

Dr. Dugald Seely

Dr. Dugald Seely, ND, M.Sc.

Executive Director

Dugald Seely is a naturopathic doctor with a clinical practice focused on cancer care who has been involved in research since graduation from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM) in 2003. Dr. Seely serves as clinic director at the CHI and leads the research as Executive Director for CCNM’s Patterson Institute for Integrative Oncology Research. Dr. Seely completed his MSc in cancer research at the University of Toronto in 2007 and has been a Fellow of the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology (FABNO) since 2012. As a clinician scientist, Dr. Seely has been awarded over 11 million dollars in competitive grant and trainee funding from the Lotte and John Hecht Memorial Foundation, CIHR, CBCRA, the SickKids Foundation, the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation and the Gateway for Cancer Research. In addition to clinical research, Dr. Seely has conducted and supervised dozens of synthesis reviews and meta-analyses with the goal of building on the growing body of evidence that supports integrative and naturopathic oncology.

Dr. Seely is an adjunct professor with the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa, is an affiliate investigator with the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, and is an assistant editor for the journals Current Oncology and Integrative Cancer Therapies. Dr. Seely was one of the founding directors of the Knowledge in Integrative Oncology Website (KNOW) and is Past President of the Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians (OncANP). Having published over 100 peer-reviewed publications and chapters, Dr. Seely has spoken frequently at national and international conferences with the goal of expanding consciousness towards a more proactive model of healthcare. In 2017 Dr. Seely was the recipient of the Dr. Rogers Prize for excellence in Complementary and Alternative Medicine and in 2022 was the winner of the International Sheikh Zayed award for excellence in naturopathy research.

Ellen

Dr. Ellen Conte (McDonell), ND

Research Associate

Dr. Ellen Conte is a naturopathic doctor and clinical researcher with a focus in integrative cancer care. In addition to her clinical practice at Halifax Naturopathic, Ellen is an associate researcher with the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine and the Patterson Institute for Integrative Oncology Research where she studies the effects of a complementary and integrative approach to cancer care. Her work has been published in peer-reviewed medical journals and presented at academic conferences. Ellen completed a degree in biochemistry from the University of Ottawa prior from obtaining her Doctor of Naturopathy from The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM), she then completed a 2-year residency at the Ottawa Integrative Cancer Centre, and is board certified in naturopathic oncology through the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology (FABNO). Ellen is involved with the Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians as a board member and as Chair of the Research Committee, she is also on the editorial review board for the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors Journal.

Mark

Mark Legacy, BSc, CCRP

Research Coordinator

Mark is a full-time researcher with the Patterson Institute for Integrative Oncology Research. He functions as trial coordinator and is involved in the development, implementation, day-to-day activities, and publication of all clinical research conducted at the CHI. Mark joined Dr. Seely’s research team in 2018 after volunteering with his brother, Dr. Andrew Seely, at The Ottawa Hospital in 2017. Mark is also an employee of The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI), working closely and often collaboratively with the Thoracic Surgery Research Team. In 2021, he became a Certified Clinical Research Professional with the Society of Clinical Research Associates, and in 2022 he joined the Ottawa Health Sciences Network Research Ethics Board, the ethics committee which oversees clinical research at the OHRI. With most of the research at the CHI being the first of its kind, Mark and his colleagues are eager to provide new insights to the field of integrative oncology.

Mohamed-ElSayed

Dr. Mohamed El Sayed, MD (Egypt), ND, PhD

Research Assistant

In addition to being a registered naturopathic doctor, Mohamed is a foreign-trained medical doctor from Egypt, holding both M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in radiation oncology. He has held clinical, research, academic, and administrative positions in oncology for nearly 20 years. Mohamed is a research assistant at the Patterson Institute for Integrative Oncology Research at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM). He is also a teaching assistant for clinical courses at CCNM. He focuses on integrative medicine, as well as supportive and integrative oncology care. He follows the evidence-informed approach and is passionate about research and teaching. Mohamed has published 29 journal articles and is a reviewer for four international peer-reviewed oncology journals.

“Throughout my journey in cancer patient care, I have recognized that individuals require a diverse mix of supportive care during conventional medical therapy. The research we are conducting at the Patterson Institute will open the path for healthcare providers to integrate a variety of evidence-based supportive measures and help people living with cancer understand their needs and make well-informed decisions.”

Rebecca

Dr. Rebecca Vanschyndel, PhD

Qualitative Research Consultant

Dr. Rebecca Van Schyndel completed the Rehabilitation Sciences PhD program at the University of Ottawa. Rebecca is a Qualitative Research Consultant with the Centre for Health Innovation.

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Dr. Caitlyn Keates, ND

Research Assistant

Caitlyn graduated from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM) where she was an intern at the Integrative Cancer Center. In her clinical practice, Caitlyn has an interest in supporting integrative cancer care, women's health and fertility, dermatology, and Lyme's disease. Caitlyn believes that each patient is unique and takes an individualized approach to their treatment using herbal medicine, nutrition, supplementation, traditional Chinese medicine and lifestyle counselling as her primary treatment approach.

As a previous Canadian National Team gymnast from the age of 8-16, Caitlyn’s medical interest began after a career-ending back injury, leading her to the East Coast of Nova Scotia to complete a Kinesiology degree at St. Francis Xavier University.

During her time at CCNM, Caitlyn sat as Vice President External for the Naturopathic Students Association where she represented the student population for the OAND, CAND and CONO. She was the chair of the Interprofessional Education Council where she encouraged interprofessional collaboration between health professionals and was the CCNM representative on the University of Toronto Interprofessional Health Student's Association. She is currently a member of the Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians, Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors and Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors.

In her spare time, Caitlyn enjoys reading a good mystery novel, a hot yoga class and when she can, travelling abroad to experience different cultures.

erica headshot-CHI

Dr. Erica Rizzolo, ND

Research Assistant

Dr. Erica Rizzolo, ND is a licensed naturopathic doctor and research assistant at the Patterson Institute for Integrative Oncology Research. Prior to naturopathic medical school, she completed her undergraduate degree in Kinesiology at McMaster University, where she also worked as a personal trainer. Erica is an active member of the research committee for the Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians (OncANP) and is passionate about integrative oncology research.

In practice, she focuses on supporting people affected by cancer from initial diagnosis through chemotherapy, surgery, and preventing recurrence. She helps patients manage side effects, energy levels and mental health throughout all stages of their cancer journey. In addition to supportive cancer care, she has a clinical focus on mental health concerns including stress management and anxiety, as well as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), and sports nutrition.

Dr. Rizzolo’s clinical approach is evidence-based and patient-centered. She enjoys working with patients to create realistic and sustainable treatment plans, through the use of nutrition, physical activity, supplements, herbal medicine and counselling.

Research Publications

Browse by Year

2022

A Survey of Multidisciplinary Healthcare Providers Utilizing the KNOWintegrativeoncology.org Educational Platform

Authors: Green, J., Wright, H., Seely, D., Legacy, M., Anderson, M., Armstrong, H., Martell, C., Soles, S., Balneaves, LG.

Journal: BMC Complementary Medicine Therapies

Publication Date: 2022

Citation: BMC complementary medicine and therapies 22.1 (2022): 1-8

Read the full paper here


Exploring the Effects of Yoga Therapy on Heart Rate Variability and Patient-Reported Outcomes After Cancer Treatment: A Study Protocol

Authors: Brunet, J., Wurz, A., Hussein, J., Pitman, A., Conte, E., Ennis, J., Herry, C., Seely, AJE., Seely, D.

Journal: Integrative Cancer Therapies

Publication Date: 2022

Citation: Integrative cancer therapies 21 (2022): 15347354221075576.

Read the full paper here


Dietary Supplements to Reduce Symptom Severity and Duration in People with SARS-CoV-2: Study Protocol for a Randomized, Double Blind, Placebo Controlled Clinical Trial

Authors: Legacy, M., Seely, D., Conte, E., Psihogios, A., Ramsay, T., Fergusson, D., Kanji, S., Simmons, JG., Wilson, K.

Journal: BMJ Open

Publication Date: March 3, 2022

Citation: BMJ open 12.3 (2022): e057024

Read the full paper here

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Research Partners & Collaborations

To help achieve our goal to advance the practice of integrative oncology in Canada, the CHI has established partnerships and collaborations with several local, national and international investigators and research organizations.

Research Funders

The CHI gratefully acknowledges support of our research funders.