$100,000 gift from the UVM Medical Center Auxiliary, Inc. will support the Breast Cancer Integrative Oncology Program

July 24, 2022 by Kate Strotmeyer

This spring, the University of Vermont Medical Center Auxiliary generously awarded $100,000 to support the Breast Cancer and Integrative Oncology Program. The group is made up of 60 members from the community who support the mission of the UVM Medical Center through financial contributions and the provision of services for patients, their families, and staff.

"This generous donation was made possible by a donation from the Medical Center Auxiliary with funds from Replays, a retail shop in South Burlington," said Jeanne Pizii, Auxiliary President. "Funds are made possible by generous donations by the public who support the mission of the University of Vermont Medical Center Auxiliary assisted by the store’s staff and many volunteers."

Integrative Oncology is a discipline that combines traditional western treatment approaches with alternative approaches that may include acupuncture, exercise, diet, massage, and meditation. These are focused on the improvement of the quality of life for patients and reduction of treatment related toxicities. 

This is a patient-centered, evidence-informed field of cancer care that utilizes mind and body practices. These approaches have been shown to be beneficial for many cancer patients and are accepted most widely by women with breast cancer, who are often younger with significant family care responsibilities. Combining integrative approaches with traditional breast cancer care often improves quality of life. 

“The gift will fund more research in this area to document potential improvements in outcomes for patients with breast and other cancers, as has been suggested by a number of studies,” said Randall Holcombe, MD, MBA, Director of the UVM Cancer Center. Better outcomes could be due to improved tolerability of traditional anti-cancer therapies or may be mediated through direct anti-cancer activities of the integrative modality itself.  

This funding will provide: 

  1. partial support for a director of integrative oncology to lead the program
  2. partial support for ancillary program staff
  3. support to conduct clinical research studies to provide evidence-based validation for incorporation of an integrative approach into cancer treatment.

For more information about integrative medicine, visit UVM Integrative Health

Related: Osher Center for Integrative Health at UVM to Bring Innovation, Greater Accessibility, and Higher Quality of Life to Vermonters