Donna Karan to Fund Alternative Cancer Research

The foundation run by fashion designer Donna Karan, founder of the DKNY clothing line, is partnering with Beth Israel Medical Center, in New York City, to test yoga, meditation and aromatherapy treatments against cancer over the course of a year. The alternative approaches will be used to supplement conventional chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Medical staff at Beth Israel will keep close tabs on the results of the Eastern-oriented treatments in order to provide the world with some much-needed empirical evidence of their efficacy or lack thereof.

Specifically, researchers, funded by the Karan foundation's $850,000 grant, will look for proof that the treatments alleviate cancer symptoms like pain, nausea and anxiety. If this proves to be the case, the techniques would reduce the length and cost of hospital stays.

Meditation and yoga are becoming increasingly common in America, where about a third of the population use some form of alternative medicine. Some 16 million people practice yoga today, and millions more do meditation of one sort or another. Both practices have been traditionally associated with lowering stress and relieving pain.

The book Prescription for Nutritional Healing, second edition, a reference guide on drug-free therapies, cites meditation as a typical stress management technique. And both meditation and yoga are listed as pain relievers for cancer patients in the book The Medical Advisor: The Complete Guide to Alternative & Conventional Treatments. Donna Karan%u2019s company had sales of $95.8 million in 2007 and employed 2,060 people.


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