Research at the CHI

Research at the CHI is led by our CEO, Dr. Dugald Seely, 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). Our research involves the conduct of clinical trials, observational studies, and synthesis research relating to complementary and integrative medicine in the context of cancer care.

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

Mistletoe (Viscum album) updated February 2024
Intravenous Curcumin updated February 2024
Intravenous Artesunate updated January 2024
Intravenous Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) updated January 2024
Locoregional Hyperthermia (LRHT) updated Dec 2023
Intravenous Vitamin C (IVC) updated February 2023
Dichloroacetate (DCA)
 updated June 2022

Health Professional Versions

Mistletoe (Viscum album) updated February 2024
Intravenous Curcumin updated February 2024
Intravenous Artesunate updated January 2024
Intravenous Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) updated January 2024
Locoregional Hyperthermia (LRHT) updated December 2023
Intravenous Vitamin C (IVC) last updated February 2023
Dichloroacetate (DCA)
last updated June 2022

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, 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, 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, ND, MSc, 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. 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.

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Dr. Julie Robinson, ND

Research Assistant

Julie completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree at St. Francis Xavier University. During her time in the program, she became acutely aware of the importance of complementary care alongside conventional care. This led to her enrolment in the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM), where she completed her 4-year degree to become a Naturopathic Doctor.

Her clinical practice focuses primarily on supporting patients with cancer, cardiovascular disease, and menopause. She uses the best available research to guide her decision making which has fueled her passion for supporting advancements in the field of naturopathic medicine by contributing to research publications. She is a research associate at the Knowledge in Integrative Oncology Website (KNOW database), and an active member of the Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians (OncANP).

Research Publications

Browse by Year

2024

Yoga Therapy as an Intervention to Improve Patient-Reported Outcomes Among Adults After Treatment for Cancer: Preliminary Findings from a Trial Using Single-Subject Experimental Design

Authors: Brunet, J. Hussien, J., Pitman, A., Wurz, A., Conte, E., Polskaia, N., & Seely, D.

Journal: Integrative Cancer Therapies

Publication Date: January 2024

Citation:  Integrative Cancer Therapies 23 (2024): 15347354241233517

Read the full paper here

 

Intravenous Vitamin C in Cancer Care: Evidence Review and Practical Guidance for Integrative Oncology Practitioners 

Authors: Conte, E., Rizzolo, E., Flower, G., Legacy, M., & Seely, D.

Journal: Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors Journal

Publication Date: March 2024

Citation: CAND Journal, vol. 31, no. 1, Mar. 2024, pp. 2-18

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.