Current Projects



The LEAP Project — An Online Program for Young People Struggling with Depression


The Canadian Institute of Natural and Integrative Medicine (CINIM), in collaboration with Alberta Health Services, the University of Calgary, and Mount Royal University has developed an Online Depression Treatment Program for young people called the LEAP Project ( This eight week program is now being tested in a free study.

This project has been approved by the Conjoint Health Research Ethics Board at the University of Calgary and the Child Health Research Office at the Alberta Children’s Hospital.


The LEAP project consists of eight modules (one per week) packed with new ideas, videos, music, true stories and simple tools to help young people create a life free from depression. All materials were created with input from young people who have experienced depression.


Young people could be eligible to join if:


• They have lost interest in things they used to enjoy and/or feel sad, irritable, angry, tired, or hopeless

• They are 13-24 years old

• They live in Calgary or surrounding areas.


More information can be found at or by contacting the LEAP Project Study Coordinator (403) 220-0022 ext. 222 or




Nutritional Therapy & Asthma – New Research Project for Asthmatic Children


Families frequently ask about the value of complementary and alternative therapies for asthma, particularly vitamin and mineral supplements. However, to date no studies have been done to decide if these supplements are effective, ineffective, or harmful.


The Canadian Institute of Natural and Integrative Medicine (CINIM) in Calgary in collaboration with the Asthma Clinic at the Alberta Children’s Hospital is going to tackle the question: Does the use of vitamin and mineral supplements allow asthmatic children to reduce their inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) medication?


Your child may be a candidate for this new project if he/she:

• is aged 7-18 years

• has been affected by mild to severe asthma for at least one year

• is taking budesonide or equivalent preventer/controller/corticosteroid therapy at a dose of 200-800 mcg/day for at least the last 3 months


See below for more information or contact the Asthma Trial Coordinator at (403) 220-0022 ext. 106 or


Study Title


Orthomolecular Treatment as Add-on Therapy for Childhood Asthma – a double blind, randomized, placebo controlled study.


Background Information on the Asthma Study


Over a half-million Canadian children aged 0-19 years suffer from asthma. Daily use of preventer/controller medication (inhaled corticosteroids) is an effective asthma treatment but compliance can be a problem and there remain concerns about the impact of higher daily doses of inhaled corticosteroids (>400mcg of budesonide or equivalent corticosteroid therapy) on the growth and future bone density of children.


Naturopathy and Orthomolecular Medicine for Asthma


Dietary supplements are commonly used by asthmatic children in the hope that these will relieve symptoms. Naturopathic doctors believe that an orthomolecular approach to dietary supplementation is particularly helpful. Orthomolecular medicine uses vitamins, minerals and a variety of other substances normally resident in the body with the aim to restore optimal physiological functioning. Orthomolecular medicine utilizes high doses, much higher than the recommended daily allowances, of vitamins and minerals to achieve a therapeutic response. Orthomolecular treatments for asthma include high doses of vitamins and minerals that reduce oxidative stress, inflammation and allergic responses, and promote muscle relaxation.

Purpose of the Trial

The purpose of this study is to find out if orthomolecular treatment allows clinically stable asthmatic children to reduce their daily dosage of preventer/controller medicine (inhaled corticosteroids (ICS)).


Study Phases and Study Information


To address the question of whether or not orthomolecular treatment allows clinically stable asthmatic children to reduce their corticosteroid dose a double blind, randomized, placebo controlled, parallel group study design will be used (this means that patients taking active supplements will be compared to patients taking dummy supplements and the physicians, participants, and study coordinator will not know which type of supplement they are taking). This study will be carried out at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary and a total of 90 asthmatic children who require ICS will receive orthomolecular doses of vitamins, minerals, and fish oil; or placebo. All children will have their dose of ICS reduced in a stepwise fashion and will be closely monitored for changes in their lung function.


The trial consists of 3 phases and will last about 20 weeks. Phase I is 4 weeks, Phase II is 8 weeks, and phase III is 8 weeks. Participants will take trial supplements for the last 2 phases (16 weeks).


Background Information on CINIM


CINIM is a registered charitable organization (Registration # 88875 8315 RR 0001). Projects are funded through private donations and project grants from public funding organizations.




Parent-delivered Massage – Randomized-clinical Trial for Children (6 to 18 yrs old) diagnosed with cancer and their parents


Having a child diagnosed with cancer is devastating for parents and their children. Parents wonder what they can do to offer support to their child diagnosed with cancer. Parent-delivered massage is an option for parents. This pilot study has the objective to test the feasibility and acceptability of a parent-delivered massage randomized-clinical trial for children (6 to 18 yrs old) diagnosed with cancer and their parents.


Parent-child pairs are being recruited into an intervention or wait-list control group. After baseline measures are collected on parent-child pairs, the intervention includes in-person training by a massage therapist and a training binder with DVD. Massage is to be delivered at convenient times for the parent and child over a 6-week period with telephone support from a massage therapist. Parents and children complete study questionnaires about symptoms and a parent debriefing interview at the end of 6-weeks and 12-weeks. Wait-list controls receive the intervention 6-weeks after randomization.




A Blood-Based Diagnostic Assay for Breast Cancer


Breast cancer continues to be the most common cancer among Canadian women, with an average of 445 Canadian women being diagnosed every week. Population based breast cancer screening programs for early detection of breast cancer have only be shown to benefit post menopausal women and remain underutilized. The Canadian Institute of Natural and Integrative Medicine (CINIM) in Calgary in collaboration with InspireHealth in Vancouver and researchers from the University of Calgary is evaluating an innovate blood based test for breast cancer. The study will address if the test can be used 1) to diagnose breast cancer and 2) to determine if a patient is responding to treatment.
For more information see below or contact CINIM’s Research Director, Sabine Moritz: 403-220- 0022 ext. 103 or




The development of a blood based DNA test that uses biological markers to determine cancer activity could not only facilitate non-invasive ways for early breast cancer detection but may also allow more rapid progress in evaluating the contribution of complementary therapies to patient care and thus facilitate a wider adoption of integrated treatment approaches in cancer care.


Project Objectives


This study is proposed with the intention to build a research program that uses an innovative blood based breast cancer test in the evaluation and development of patient tailored integrative cancer care approaches. The objectives of this pilot study are:


• To test if a new blood based DNA test can be used to distinguish between blood samples from breast cancer patients and healthy volunteers.

• To compare the results of this study to those of a previous study that used breast cancer blood samples obtained from a European blood bank.

• To explore if blood based DNA test results before treatment for breast cancer are different from blood based DNA results after initial treatment.




Banked blood samples from breast cancer patients pre and post treatment as well as from healthy volunteers will be shipped to the Chronix Laboratory in Goettingen, Germany. This laboratory will perform DNA testing that is based on DNA material from tumour cells in the blood. Scientists at the laboratory will be blinded (i.e. they will be unaware if samples came from a breast cancer patient or a healthy volunteer). The laboratory will provide test results for each blood sample stating if the sample showed special features indicative of breast cancer or not.


Project Evaluation


The sensitivity and specificity of the blood based test for the detection of breast cancer in the provided samples will be determined and compared to previously published results.


Expected Results


It is expected that the blood based testing shows good sensitivity and specificity for the detection of breast cancer as well as sensitivity for changes after cancer treatment.