Research at the CHI

The CHI is an innovative research centre and integrative health care clinic. Our research is led by our CEO who also serves as the Executive Director of Integrative Oncology for the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM). Our research is jointly run with CCNM and other research partners to conduct clinical trials, observational studies, and synthesis research relating to complementary and integrative medicine for cancer.

Research Summaries for Integrative Therapies

To support informed decision-making, we are committed to developing evidence-based Research Summaries for Integrative Therapies, also called monographs, to summarize the safety and effectiveness of commonly used complementary therapies and natural health products 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, more detailed summary). We do our best to keep the monographs up to date, however be aware the monographs only encompass information known at the time of writing.

Patient Versions

Mistletoe (Viscum album) last updated January 2020
Intravenous Vitamin C  last updated August 2019
Coriolus Versicolor (Turkey Tail Mushroom) last updated October 2015
Dichloroacetate (DCA) last updated July 2015
Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) last updated March 2014
Green Tea (Camellia sinensis) last updated February 2014
Acupuncture 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

Mistletoe (Viscum album)  last updated January 2020 
Intravenous Vitamin C  last updated July 2019
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 
Dichloroacetate (DCA) last updated October 2013
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.

Founder & CEO

As founder and CEO of the Centre for Health Innovation, Dr. Dugald Seely ND leads the research department and is pioneering an innovative model of cancer care based on the provision and study of scientifically grounded, evidence-informed complementary medicine. With the establishment of the first integrative cancer care and research centre in Eastern Canada, Dr. Seely and his team are providing whole-person integrative care to people living with cancer and conducting relevant research in the realm of integrative medicine.

Dr. Seely completed his MSc in cancer research at the University of Toronto and is a Fellow of the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology (FABNO). As a clinician scientist, Dr. Seely has been awarded competitive grant and trainee funding from the Lotte and John Hecht Memorial Foundation, CIHR, CBCRA, the SickKids 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 oncology.

Dr. Seely serves as executive director of research & clinical epidemiology at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, is an adjunct professor with the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa, and is an affiliate investigator with the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. Dr. Seely is section editor for Integrative Oncology with the journal, Current Oncology, and is the President of the Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians (OncANP). Dr. Seely has published over 70 Medline indexed peer-reviewed publications and speaks 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.

Outside of professional life, Dugald likes to spend time on outdoor adventures with his family traveling, hiking and biking or indoors playing all manner of card and board games.


Dr. Ellen Conte (McDonell), ND

Naturopathic Doctor & Research Associate

Dr. Ellen Conte (McDonell), ND is a naturopathic doctor and researcher focusing on supportive cancer care and general health concerns. In her clinical practice, Ellen uses evidence-informed therapies to help manage symptoms and side effects of cancer and cancer treatment, provide adjunctive care for the management and prevention of cancer, and optimize overall health. Ellen primarily utilizes nutrition, nutritional supplementation, exercise counseling, herbal medicine, and lifestyle counseling to support people.  Through research at the CHI, Ellen works to improve cancer outcomes by studying the effects of a complementary and integrative approach to cancer care.  Her work has been published in peer-reviewed medical journals and presented at conferences.

Ellen obtained her doctor of naturopathy from The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM), and has a degree in biochemistry from the University of Ottawa. She completed an internship in adjunctive cancer care while at CCNM, completed a two year cancer-focused residency through CCNM, and regularly attends oncology-focused medical conferences. Ellen is an active member of the naturopathic medical community; she is Chair of the Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physician's Research Committee, contributes to writing and peer-review of naturopathic medical publications including the Natural Medicine Journal and the Vital Link, and previously served as President of the Naturopathic Students Union. Ellen is a member of the Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians, Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors, Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors, and is registered with the College of Naturopaths of Ontario.

Although Ellen is a Haligonian who misses the ocean, she has developed a love for Ottawa and in particular the active outdoor community. An avid runner and triathlete, when not at work she’s usually outside rain or shine enjoying the river, canal, and trails in the area.


Mark Legacy

Clinical Research Assistant

Mark is a clinical researcher working to improve patient care by looking into complementary treatments that embrace a holistic and integrative approach to traditional practices at most hospitals. Mark developed an early interest in research while completing his degree in biomedical sciences at the University of Ottawa. Now a full-time researcher for the CHI, Mark collaborates with many different institutions across Canada and North America to design and coordinate clinical trials and observational studies. Mark is also an employee of The Ottawa Hospital, working closely and often collaboratively with the Thoracic Surgery Research Team at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. With most of his research being the first of its kind, Mark and his colleagues are eager to provide new insights to the field of integrative oncology. 


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

Research Assistant

In addition to being a licensed naturopathic doctor, Mohamed is a foreign trained medical doctor from Egypt holding both M.Sc. and PhD degrees in radiation oncology. He has held clinical, research, and academic positions in oncology for nearly 20 years. Mohamed has published 26 journal articles on various cancer-related topics and is a reviewer for four international peer-reviewed oncology journals.


Rebecca Vanschyndel

Qualitative Research Consultant

Rebecca completed the Masters Program in Health Sciences, Occupational Therapy at the University of Ottawa. She has practiced as an Occupational Therapist in the community for many years. She is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Ottawa in the Health Sciences, Rehabilitation Sciences Program. Rebecca is a Qualitative Research Consultant with the Centre for Health Innovation.


Dr. Athanasios Psihogios, ND (Inactive)

Research Assistant

Dr. Athanasios (Thanasi) Psihogios, ND (Inactive), is an integrative oncology researcher dedicated to advancing this pioneer-type field in order to provide patients with safe and efficacious therapy options. Currently, in order to expand his research abilities and knowledge, Thanasi is completing a Master of Public Health degree. In addition to health research, with his background and passion for philosophy, Thanasi is particularly interested in the reasoning and modes of thinking behind peoples’ decision to use integrative medicine.

Since 2017, currently a senior research assistant, Thanasi has worked with the Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians (OncANP) on the Knowledge in Naturopathic Oncology Website (KNOW) database. This project is dedicated to collecting, summarizing and critically appraising integrative oncology research to be utilized by clinicians to make evidence-informed clinical decisions. Prior to becoming a CHI research resident, Thanasi was a volunteer research assistant with the clinic, with his most notable project involvement being the Integrative Pediatric Oncology Program (IPOP) practice survey. His work on this project, pertaining to practice trends in naturopathic pediatric cancer care, has been published in a peer-reviewed medical journal and presented at a conference.

Thanasi graduated from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine with a Doctor of Naturopathy degree. He received a BA from the University of Ottawa, with a focus on both health science and philosophy.

erica headshot-CHI

Dr. Erica Rizzolo, ND

 Naturopthic Doctor & Research Assistant

Dr. Erica Rizzolo, ND is a licensed naturopathic doctor and research assistant at the Centre for Health Innovation (CHI). 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).

In practice, Erica 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, Erica has a clinical focus on mental health concerns, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), and sports nutrition.

Dr. Rizzolo’s clinical approach is evidence-based and patient-centred. Erica enjoys working with patients to create realistic and sustainable treatment plans, through the use of nutrition, physical activity, supplements, herbal medicine and counselling. Dr. Rizzolo’s care is focused on supportive cancer care, digestive health, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), stress management, anxiety, eating disorders, and sports nutrition. Please feel free to reach out to book a free 15-minute meet and greet, or initial visit today.

Research Publications

Browse by Year


Intervention Development Process for a Pragmatic Randomized Controlled Trial: The Thoracic Peri-Operative Integrative Surgical Care Evaluation Trial

Authors: Seely, D., Ennis, J.E., McDonell, E., et al.

Publication: Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine

Citedate: March 19, 2019

Citation: J Altern Complement Med. 2019;25(S1):S112-S123.

PMID: 30870012


A systematic review of acupuncture for chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy

Authors: Li, K., Giustini, D., & Seely, D.

Publication: Current Oncology

Citedate: April 1, 2019

Citation: Curr Oncol. 2019 Apr;26(2):e147-e154.

PMID: 31043820


Chapter 5 of Women's Health and Complementary and Integrative Medicine: Women's cancers and complementary and integrative medicine

Authors: Schloss, J., Alschuler, L., & McDonell, E.

Citedate: 2019

Citation: In: Adams J, ed. Women's Health and Complementary and Integrative Medicine. Abingdon, UK: Routledge; 2019: 63-76

Read Publication Here.


Editorial: The Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians Principles of Care Guidelines

Authors: Seely, D., & Verma, S.

Publication: Current Oncology

Citedate: February 1, 2019

Citation: Curr Oncol. 2019. Vol 26, No 1.

PMID: 30853791


Integrative Oncology: International Perspectives

Authors: Grant, S.J., Hunter, J., Seely, D., Balneaves, L.G., Rossi, E., & Bao, T.

Publication: Integrative Cancer Therapies

Citedate: January 30, 2019

Citation: Integr Cancer Ther. 2019. Jan-Dec;18

PMID: 30791736


Browse by Subject

Intravenous Vitamin C

Intravenous vitamin C in the supportive care of cancer patients: a review and rational approach

Authors: E. Klimant, MD, H. Wright, ND, D. Rubin, ND, D. Seely, ND, M.Sc.,and M. Markman, MD
Citedate: Monday, April 30, 2018
Citation: Curr Oncol. 2018 Apr; 25(2): 139–148.
PMID: 29719430

Intravenous Vitamin C and Cancer: A Systematic Review

Authors: Fritz H, Flower G, Weeks L, Cooley K, Callachan M, McGowan J, Skidmore B, Kirchner L, Seely D
Affiliations: The Canadian College of Naturopathic Mediicne, Ottawa Integrative Cancer Centre, University of Toronto, Carp Ridge Natural Health Clinic, Ottawa Hospital Research INstitute
Citedate: Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Citation: Integr Cancer Ther. 2014 May 26;13(4):280-300.
PMID: 24867961
Natural Health Products
Symptom Management
Breast Cancer
Lung Cancer

Browse by Methodology


Intravenous vitamin C in the supportive care of cancer patients: a review and rational approach

Authors: Klimant, E., Wright, H., D. Rubin, Seely, D. & Markman, M.

Publication: Current Oncology

Citedate: Monday, April 30, 2018

Citation: Curr Oncol. 2018 Apr; 25(2): 139–148.

PMID: 29719430


Decision-making about complementary and alternative medicine by cancer patients: integrative literature review

Authors: Weeks, L., Balneaves, L.G., Paterson, C., Verhoef, M.

Publication: Open Medicine

Affiliations: Ottawa Integrative Cancer Centre, University of British Columbia, University of Bristol, University of Calgary

Citedate: Monday, April 14, 2014

Citation: Open Med. 2014 Apr 15;8(2):e54-66

PMID: 25009685


A comparative review of thermography as a breast cancer screening technique

Authors: Kennedy, D., Lee, T., & Seely, D.

Affiliations:The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine

Citedate: Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Citation: Integrative Cancer Therapies 2009;8(1):9-16.

PMID: 19223370


A strategy for controlling potential interactions between natural health products and chemotherapy: a review in pediatric oncology

Authors:Seely, D., Stempak, D., & Baruchel, S.

Publication: Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology

Affiliations: Hospital for Sick Children

Citedate: Sunday, December 31, 2006

Citation:Journal Pediatric Hematol Oncol, 2007;29(1):32-47.

PMID: 17230065

Systematic Reviews & Meta-Analyses
Clinical Trials
Feasibility Studies
Pre-Clinical Studies
Other Studies

Research Partners

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

Research Funders

The OICC gratefully acknowledges support of our research funders.

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