© 1998 by Ralph W. Moss, Ph.D.

The following letter was sent to approximately 100 participants in POMES (Practice Outcomes Monitoring and Evaluation System), a meeting which was sponsored by the National Cancer Institute and the Office of Alternative Medicine in August, 1997. It indicates that big changes are now underway at NCI following the Burton hearings.

February 25, 1998

Dear Colleague:

I have good news to share with you. As of this week, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has removed all of its derogatory statements on alternative and complementary treatments of cancer. Visitors to their CancerNet web site are now informed that "the NCI is currently revising its presentation of information on complementary and alternative approaches to cancer therapy." Inquirers are referred to the Office of Alternative Medicine (OAM) web site ( NCI is now working with OAM as well as its own Cancer Information Service to create new and presumably fairer statements.

This is a big victory, which removes a major obstacle to the fair testing of such treatments. It comes at the end of a tumultuous month of Congressional hearings, letters, and phone calls. In the end, NCI director Richard Klausner, M.D. decided to pull the existing statements. I greatly respect Dr. Klausner for the moral courage and leadership he has shown. I believe that NCI is now on the road to real change and look forward to working with them in the future.

One big problem remains, however: the lack of public participation in the evaluation process. There simply cannot be a continuation of the inadequate old ways of evaluating non-conventional treatments. There must be an Oversight or Advisory Board, as all POMES participants agreed, made up of respected individuals from both conventional and alternative medicine. Without this, POMES is doomed to simply repeat the grievous errors of the past. I urge you to use your influence to make sure that the hard-won agreements of August are implemented as an integral part of any treatment evaluation process.


Ralph W. Moss, Ph.D.

POMES Meeting article (8/97)

Special Issue of Chronicles on Hearings

Ralph W. Moss, Ph.D. is director of the The Moss Reports for cancer patients. Dr. Moss is the author of eleven books and three documentaries on cancer-related topics. He is or has been an advisor on alternative cancer treatments to the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute, the American Urological Association, Columbia University, the University of Texas, the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the German Society of Oncology. He wrote the first article on alternative medicine for the Encyclopedia Britannica yearbook. He is listed in Marquis Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in the East, and Who's Who in Entertainment (as a film documentarian). This Web site does not advocate any particular treatment for cancer. We urge you to always seek competent medical advice for all health problems, especially cancer. Before consulting our site please read our full Disclaimer statement.

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