Cancerfighter’s Weblog

Alternative cancer therapies and ideas

Ian Clements’ ‘Chemotherapy Help’ document

Posted by Jonathan Chamberlain on April 21, 2011


See also my two cancer books – http://www.fightingcancer.com

Chemotherapy Help – Alternative ways you can support yourself while undergoing chemotherapy

Contents

Summary. 2

Major Component in Turmeric Enhance Effect of Chemotherapy Drug in Head and Neck Cancer. 2

Advice from Cancer Active. 4

1. Clean Your Liver. 4

2. Prepare Yourself. 4

4. Certain Supplements Improve Treatment Success. 5

Antioxidants and Chemotherapy – Findings. 5

Supplements during gem/cis Yes or No ?. 6

1,25D3 [Vitamin D3] Enhances antitumor activity of gemcitabine and cisplatin in human bladder cancer models  6

Pete Granger’s Comments on Vit. D3 research above. 7

Milk thistle herb protects liver from damage caused by chemotherapy. 7

Neuropathy & Glutamine. 8

Glutamine for neuropathy and other chemo supplements‏. 8

New Way To Fight Cancer: Protect Healthy Cells With The Silver Shield. 10

The diet that won’t just help you lose weight, you’ll live longer and be brainier!. 13

Exercise May Keep Cancer Patients Healthier During, After Treatment. 15

New exercise guidelines for cancer survivors. 17

How to Take Care of Yourself During Chemotherapy. 17

Recommendations – Supplements To Take With Specific Chemotherapy Drugs. 18

Chemo, Tinnitus‏ & Hearing Loss. 19

Cold Caps Prevent Hair Loss. 19

Fruit, etc Help, but No Sugar or Fruit Juices. 21

Summary

Vit.D3  4,000IU-12,000IU daily – enhances efficacy of chemo[i]

Magnesium 500mg daily – replaces severe depletion

10 grams (3 scoops) of glutamine powder 3 times a day to minimize the side effects of chemo including neuropathy

Vit.A

Vit.C – 1 – 5 gms/day

Curcumin + piperene – up to 10 gms/day – enhances chemo, especially cisplatin, and reduces chemo damage[ii]

Co-Enzyme Q10 100mg/day – chemo harms the heart; Co-Q10 helps it[iii]

Omega 3 oil 5gms EPA – helps preserve muscle in cancer patients on chemo[iv]

Green or white tea

Astralagus – an immune booster[v]; anti-cancer generally;

Aloe Vera – enhances chemo’s effects, enhances apoptosis, improves immune system

Milk thistle

Bromelain

Resveratrol – enhances chemo’s effect[vi]

Medicinal mushrooms

Stay off sugar, sodium (salt) and fruit juices

Exercise: as vigorous as possible – walking 30’ day, jogging if poss., and resistance training

Immune-Boost Treatment Might Help Some With Advanced Colon Cancer[vii]

But whether the approach beats chemo-plus-Avastin/Erbitux remains unanswered, experts say

Posted: April 6, 2011 By Amanda Gardner HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, April 6 (HealthDay News) — By giving more intensive chemotherapy along with drugs designed to boost the body’s own immune system, researchers were able to roughly double survival time for patients with advanced, metastatic colorectal cancer compared to patients receiving standard chemotherapy alone.

In fact, the trial, results of which are being presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Orlando, was stopped early because of the promising findings.

“With this study, we have produced for the first time strong proof-of-concept that chemo-immunotherapy may be active and more efficacious than standard [chemotherapy] in metastatic colon cancer patients,” said study lead author Dr. Pierpaolo Correale, an oncologist with Siena University School of Medicine in Siena, Italy.

The standard of care right now for patients with colorectal cancer that’s spread to other regions is to use one of two dual-drug combinations of chemotherapy alone, or use them alongside a newly developed monoclonal antibody treatment such as Avastin (bevacizumab) or Erbitux (cetuximab). These approaches can boost overall survival to about 20 to 22 months.

For this study, the research team randomized 130 patients to receive either chemotherapy alone (with a regimen known as FOLFOX) or to receive FOLFOX plus drugs to ramp up the immune system (this regimen is known as GOLFIG).

The chemo/immune boost approach involves first giving patients gemcitabine plus standard FOLFOX chemotherapy (oxaliplatin, levofolinic acid and 5-FU/GOLF) that targets and kills the cancer cells in a number of ways — all the while sending off signals alerting the immune system to the cancer.

This is then followed up with the administration of signaling molecules called cytokines that spur key immune cells into action. Another immune-boosting cancer drug, called aldesleukine, is also given to help boost the population of immune cells targeted against tumor cells.

At the time of data collection, the patients treated with this approach have survived an average 16.5 months without a relapse, compared with just 7.5 months in the chemo-only group.

But the study began in 2005, before the advent of drugs like Avastin or Erbitux, meaning that investigators do not yet know if GOLFIG would outperform regimens that include those medications. This needs to be looked at, said Correale.

On the other hand, many patients do not see a benefit from biological agents such as Erbitux or Avastin because they have the wrong genetic profile, noted one outside expert.

“Essentially, we have a very problematic subset of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer which are limited to two lines of chemotherapy and [perhaps] one biological agent,” said Dr. Igor Astsaturov, assistant professor of medical oncology at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia.

“For those patients, which are about one-third of the overall patient population, this [new finding] will be particularly welcome news,” Astsaturov said, while adding the caution that the results are still preliminary.

However, clinical use of the protocol may be delayed further by the fact that “there is no direct commercial interest of pharmaceutical companies,” noted Correale, who is nevertheless planning larger trials.

The costs associated with GOLFIG, he added, are “four-to-five times lower than that produced by the current use of Avastin or Erbitux with apparently similar therapeutic results.”

Because this study was presented at a medical meeting, the findings should be viewed as preliminary until they are published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Curcumin and Resveratrol – Chemoresistance[viii]

The following studies suggest growth factor IGF-1 is involved in the late stage invasiveness of various cancers, including bladder and colon cancers, and inhibition of IGF-1 may minimise this effect. Curcumin and resveratrol – especially in combination, block IGF-1
expression. They also appear to enhance the efect of chemotherapy.

Pete

‘In this study, the researchers looked at the role of the protein receptor for the growth factor IGF-I, an important modulator of cell proliferation in bladder cancer cells. They found that although activation of IGF-IR did not affect growth of bladder cancer cells, it did promote the migration and invasion of these cells’.

‘IGF-IR activated other molecules in cancer-promoting pathways (Akt and MAPK) that allow cancer cells to break its bond with other cells in a tumor in order to travel to others sites in the body.

“These data seem to indicate that this protein receptor (IGF-IR) may play a more prominent role in later stages of bladder cancer, not in the initiation of the cancer,” said Dr. Morrione’.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100514123502.htm

‘Curcumin (diferuloylmethane), which has no discernible toxicity, inhibits initiation, promotion and progression of carcinogenesis. 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) or 5-FU plus oxaliplatin (FOLFOX) remains the backbone of colorectal cancer chemotherapeutics, but produces an
incomplete response resulting in survival of cells (chemo-surviving cells) that may lead to cancer recurrence. The present investigation was, therefore, undertaken to examine whether addition of curcumin to FOLFOX is a superior therapeutic strategy for chemo-surviving cells

‘Our data suggest that inclusion of curcumin in conventional chemotherapeutic regimens could be an effective strategy to prevent the emergence of chemoresistant colon cancer cells’.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20332435

‘more recently we have demonstrated that curcumin not only inhibits the activation of EGFR and family members, but also IGF-IR in colon cancer HCT-116 cells’

‘The combination of resveratrol and curcumin causes a significantly greater inhibition of growth of tumors than either agent alone’.

http://www.encognitive.com/files/Curcumin%20Synergizes%20With%20Resveratrol%20to%20Inhibit%20Colon%20Cancer.pdf

Major Component in Turmeric Enhance Effect of Chemotherapy Drug in Head and Neck Cancer[ix]

ScienceDaily (Oct. 24, 2010) — Curcumin, the major component in the spice turmeric, when combined with the drug cisplatin enhances the chemotherapy’s suppression of head and neck cancer cell growth, researchers with UCLA’s Jonsson Cancer Center have found.

A naturally occurring spice widely used in South Asian and Middle Eastern cooking, Turmeric has long been known to have medicinal properties, attributed to its anti-inflammatory effects. Previous studies have shown it can suppress the growth of certain cancers, said Dr. Marilene Wang, a professor of head and neck surgery, lead author of the study and a Jonsson Cancer Center researcher.

“Head and neck cancers, particularly cases diagnosed in a later stage, are terrible cancers that often require very radical surgeries and chemotherapy and radiation,” Wang said. “They often don’t present until late, and the structures in the head and neck are so vital that our treatments often cause disfigurement and severe loss of function. So using non-toxic curcumin as a treatment was a very appealing idea.”

The study, done in cells in Petri dishes and then in mouse models, appears in the October issue of the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics.

In India, women for years have been using turmeric for medicinal purposes, as an anti-aging agent rubbed into their ski, to treat cramps during menstruation, as a poultice on the skin to promote wound healing and as an additive in cosmetics, said scientist Eri Srivatsan, an adjunct professor of surgery and a Jonsson Cancer Center researcher who, along with Wang, has been studying curcumin and its anti-cancer properties for six years.

A 2005 study by Wang and Srivatsan first showed that curcumin suppressed the growth of head and neck cancer cells, first in cells and then in mouse models. In the animal studies, the curcumin was applied directly onto the tumors in paste form because it did not dissolve in saline, which would have allowed it to be injected.

In need of a better way to deliver the curcumin, the team collaborated with Dr. Kapil Mehta of M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and found that encapsulating the tumor in a liposome, an artificially prepared vehicle that enclosed the spice component within its membrane, made the treatment injectable. The curcumin was injected into the tail vein of a mouse, where it circulated into the blood stream, slowing down and eventually stopping the cancer growth, a study in 2008 found.

“This was a very positive finding, developing an efficient way to deliver the treatment,” Wang said. “Our study also showed that the curcumin was very well tolerated.”

In this study, the team wanted to combine the curcumin with the chemotherapeutic drug cisplatin, which is very toxic at the doses needed to fight head and neck cancers, damaging kidneys, the ears and the bone marrow. They hoped that if they added curcumin to the mix, they might be able to lower the cisplatin dose and cause less organ damage. Their finding, that the curcumin made the cisplatin work better, was very promising, Wang said.

“We knew that both the curcumin and the cisplatin, when given alone, had an effect against head and neck cancers,” Wang said. “This finding that curcumin enhances cisplatin means that, in the future, we may be able to give this chemotherapy in lower doses.”

The study noted that “the mechanisms of the two agents through different growth signaling pathways suggest potential for the clinical use of sub-therapeutic doses of cisplatin in combination with curcumin, which will allow effective suppression of tumor growth while minimizing the toxic side effects.”

The study found that curcumin suppressed head and neck cancer growth by regulating cell cycling, Srivatsan said. It binds to an enzyme and prevents the enzyme IKK, an inhibitor of kappa B kinase, from activating a transcription factor called nuclear factor kappa B (NFκB), which promotes cancer growth. Cisplatin’s suppressive action involves a different pathway through the tumor suppressor proteins p16 and p53, both proteins that again inhibit the activity of cancer growth promoter NFκB.

“We needed to know the mechanism to help us translate this from the lab into the clinic,” Wang said. “That information will help us make better decisions on how to design therapies.”

The next step in the clinical setting is to give patients oral curcumin prior to surgery and, after surgery, study the excised tumors to determine curcumin’s effect on tumor markers, specifically whether there is reduced expression of markers such as growth promoting NFκB. They also will be monitoring to determine if the curcumin results in any side effects. After that, the team would give curcumin to patients also getting chemotherapy and radiation to see if the tumor suppression found in the cells lines and mouse models can be replicated in humans.

Although turmeric is used in cooking, the amount of curcumin needed to produce a clinical response is much larger, about 500 milligrams. Expecting a positive effect through eating foods spiced with turmeric is not realistic, the researchers said.

Curcumin also has a suppressive effect on other cancers, Wang said, including breast, colon and pancreatic cancers. However, the mechanism of suppression in those cancers has not yet been uncovered. It also may be effective against Alzheimer’s and aging, Wang said.

Advice from Cancer Active[x]

So let us try to build up a plan, based on science, to give patients a strong route forward.

1. Clean Your Liver

Before and after chemotherapy, clean out the fats, the gallstones, the dead cells, the lactic acid build up. For if the liver is inefficient the whole immune system is affected. Take milk thistle, boldo tea, dandelion or a proprietary detox. Add turmeric to some meals, drink two litres of clean filtered water a day (not from tap or plastic bottles). Think about a serious liver flush and coffee enemas to remove gallstones and clean out some of the dead cells and fats. Click here for info on  the liver flush.

2. Prepare Yourself

a) Boost your immune system:  Anti-cancer herbs like Astragalus, Cat´s Claw, and echinacea are extremely effective. Add curcumin, total vitamin E and Chlorella plus probiotics and you really will target an improvement in your weeakened immune system. You can read about all of these on our web site, but most impressive is astragalus. All have all been shown to be excellent immune boosters but astragalus has been shown by the University of Texas Cancer Center in Houston to be an excellent anti-cancer agent lighting up the cancer cells to be ´spotted´ by the immune system..

Cut sodium from your diet

b) Cut sodium from your diet. Increase potassium and magnesium. Sodium displaces potassium in the power stations of your cells, making them more toxic and more acidic. Cancer thrives in acid bodies. Cut sodium foods like salt, soy sauce, gravy granules, hams, cooked meats, salami, turkey roast slices, sliced bread, breakfast cereals, sausages, bacon, processed food, prepared meals and Chinese meals. Consume high potassium and magnesium foods like fresh nuts in moderation, jacket potatoes, whole grains, green leaf vegetables, carrots, fresh apples, bananas, whole brown rice, broad beans, peas and pulses. A little rice milk or soya milk is acceptable.

Take a good, ideally liquid vitamin and mineral supplement, plus the anti-oxidants beta-carotene (use chlorella, which is natural, rather than the synthetic high street form, which anyway is not advisable if you have lung cancer), natural vitamin C with bioflavenoids and natural total vitamin E, zinc, selenium and co-enzyme Q10 (if you are over 30). A good B complex vitamin containing choline and inositol (also in soy lecithin), biotin and folic acid would be very protective prior to chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Take long chain omega 3. For example, a good source would be Seven Seas Pure Cod Liver Oil. We have known since 1982, and a Nobel Prize by Sir John Vane, about the positive benefits of omega 3 in the cancer process. Omega 3 can also be found from a flaxseed source in Dr Joanna Budwig´s anti-cancer diet. Omega 3, garlic, ginger, salicylic acid (in Aloe Vera) and curcumin can all reduce inflammation and agressive eicosanoids, both of which stimulate cancers.

4. Certain Supplements Improve Treatment Success

Up front it needs to be said that there has long been a debate over whether cancer patients having chemo should take antioxidants. We have reviewed the argument several times on this web site. The Truth is that various expert cancer centres like MD Anderson and UCLA have stated that antioxidants can actually improve the success of chemotherapy, rather than hinder it as some people claim. MD Anderson have actually conducted several clinical trials (covered in Cancer Watch) showing vitamin E enhances the action of specific chemotherapy drugs.

But this argument is also a bit of a red herring.

Elsewhere on this site you will find articles on:

* vitamin D

* Medicinal Mushrooms

* Green Tea

* Astragalus

* Selenium

Each and all of these have been shown in expert research to decrease tumour size and/or improve survival when taken on their own or in conjunction with chemotherapy.

Furthermore Selenium (Brazil nuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, oily fish), and/or soya/fruit isoflavones and/or curcumin and/or astragalus have been shown to improve the action of radiotherapy.

MGN-3 (Biobran) reduced side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy in Japanese Clinical Trials. It is a rice bran and Japanese medicinal mushroom formula. The same trials show improved survival rates.

The various orthodox treatments leave an imbalance of flora in the intestine. You should take a multi-strain probiotic daily (Neways Advanced Probiotic, or Probiota 8) and try to keep yeasts in check. A teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate in warm water first thing in the morning, Pau D´arco supplement, oregano and wormwood will do this.

Antioxidants and Chemotherapy – Findings[xi]

  • All of the studies that included survival data showed similar or better survival rates for the antioxidant group than the control group.
  • None of the trials supported the theory that antioxidant supplements diminish the effectiveness of chemotherapy treatments.
  • All but one of the studies that reported treatment response showed similar or better response in the antioxidant group than in the control group.
  • 15 of 17 trials that assessed chemotherapy toxicities, including diarrhea, weight loss, nerve damage and low blood counts, concluded that the antioxidant group suffered similar or lower rates of these side effects than the control group.

Supplements during gem/cis Yes or No ?[xii]

cisplatin beats the magnesium out of your blood…..so i take 500mg magnesium daily…over the counter…doctors orders and nulasta 24hrs after last chemo treatment…..have good insurance….$3000 a shot can be overwhelming, unless it is covered in a clinical trial – daveyo

1,25D3 [Vitamin D3] Enhances antitumor activity of gemcitabine and cisplatin in human bladder cancer models[xiii]

BACKGROUND:

1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25D3) potentiates the cytotoxic effects of several common chemotherapeutic agents. The combination of gemcitabine and cisplatin is a current standard chemotherapy regimen for bladder cancer. The authors investigated whether 1,25D3 could enhance the antitumor activity of gemcitabine and cisplatin in bladder cancer model systems.
METHODS:

Human bladder cancer T24 and UMUC3 cells were pretreated with 1,25D3 followed by gemcitabine and cisplatin. Apoptosis was assessed by annexin V staining. Caspase activation was examined by immunoblot analysis and substrate-based caspase activity assay. The cytotoxic effects were examined by using 3-(4,5-Dimethyl-2-thiazolyl)-2,5-diphenyl-2H-tetrazolium bromide (MTT) and in vitro clonogenic assay. p73 protein levels were assessed by immunoblot analysis. Knockdown of p73 was achieved by siRNA. The in vivo antitumor activity was assessed by in vivo excision clonogenic assay and tumor regrowth delay in the T24 xenograft model.
RESULTS:

1,25D3 pretreatment enhanced gemcitabine and cisplatin-induced apoptosis and the activities of caspases 8, 9, and 3 in T24 and UMUC3 cells. 1,25D3 synergistically reduced gemcitabine and cisplatin-suppressed surviving fraction in T24 cells. 1,25D3, gemcitabine, or cisplatin induced p73 accumulation, which was enhanced by gemcitabine and cisplatin or 1,25D3 and gemcitabine and cisplatin. p73 expression was lower in human primary bladder tumor tissue compared with adjacent normal tissue. Knockdown of p73 increased clonogenic capacity of T24 cells treated with 1,25D3, gemcitabine and cisplatin, or 1,25D3 and gemcitabine and cisplatin. 1,25D3 and gemcitabine and cisplatin combination enhanced tumor regression compared with 1,25D3 or gemcitabine and cisplatin alone.
CONCLUSIONS:

1,25D3 potentiates gemcitabine and cisplatin-mediated growth inhibition in human bladder cancer models in vitro and in vivo, which involves p73 induction and apoptosis. Cancer 2010. © 2010 American Cancer Society.

Yingyu Ma, MD, PhD 1, Wei-Dong Yu, MD 1, Donald L. Trump, MD 2, Candace S. Johnson, PhD 1

 

Pete Granger’s Comments on Vit. D3 research above

From:   Peter Granger (pete.granger@GMAIL.COM) 30 April 2010 22:01:57

This lab research suggests taking vitamin D3 with chemo (gemcitabine
and cisplatin) reduces bladder cancer progression. This does not
necessarily mean it will work with all chemo, but it might be worth a
try. Apparently, vitamin D3 induces expression of the p73 gene – a
gene with close similarities to the p53 gene. P53 senses DNA damage,
and places cell cycle on hold while enzymes restore the damaged DNA.
If the damage is irreparable, p53 commits the cell to
self-destruction. In cancer, including bladder cancer, the p53 gene is
often damaged (mutated) so it is incapable of carrying out this
critical function. Incidentally, there are some nutrients which assist
in carrying out similar functions to p53 via alternate pathways.
However, the role of p73 is far from clear. Unlike p53, p73 mutations
are rare in cancer. Moreover, p73 does not directly repair DNA itself,
and mutations do not necessarily directly cause cancer. It is more
likely p73 mutations interact with p53 mutations, compounding the
negative effect of the latter – perhaps via the immune system or some
other pathway.

One possibility is that vitamin-d-induces an enhanced immune response
to the chemo, or it mitigates against some of the negative,
deleterious effects of chemo – which is after all, a very blunt
‘instrument’.

Expressed another way, vitamin D3 may help correct the negative
influence of (rare) p73 mutations on (common) p53 mutations.

Pete

Milk thistle herb protects liver from damage caused by chemotherapy[xiv]

(NaturalNews) The herbal supplement milk thistle may prevent liver damage in people undergoing chemotherapy, according to a new study conducted by researchers from Columbia University Medical Center and published in the journal Cancer.

Researchers conducted the study on 50 children undergoing a “maintenance” round of chemotherapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), a type of blood cancer. Approximately two-thirds of all children undergoing treatment for ALL usually develop liver toxicity during their treatment, presenting doctors with the choice between scaling back the treatment and risking a resurgence of the cancer, or continuing with treatment unaltered and risking permanent liver damage and lifelong health complications. There is currently no known way of preventing liver toxicity in chemotherapy patients.

Study participants were assigned to take either a milk thistle pill or a placebo capsule for one month. At the start of the study, all 50 children were suffering from liver inflammation due to prior rounds of chemotherapy. By the end, children taking milk thistle had significantly lower levels of two liver inflammation markers than children taking a placebo.

Milk thistle has been used for more than 2,000 years as an herbal treatment for liver and gallbladder problems. Although researchers have looked for evidence that the herb might help prevent or even treat liver damage in people with hepatitis or cirrhosis, results have been inconclusive.

However, recent studies suggest that milk thistle contains an active antioxidant known as silybin that might help block toxins from breaching cell walls.

Milk thistle supplements are already sold over the counter. Striking a cautionary note, however, senior researcher Kara M. Kelley noted that further research is needed before the plant can be recommended as a treatment. She advised against patients self-medicating with milk thistle, noting that all patients undergoing treatment for cancer should always check with their doctors before taking any new kinds of supplements.

Neuropathy & Glutamine

From:   Nancy Neuman (neuman.nancy@GMAIL.COM)

Sent:  09 June 2010 21:16:35

Every time a friend has started chemo, no matter what their cancer is, I
tell them to ask their oncologist about neuropathy. I am stunned that the
patient still has to take charge of this issue in too many cases. I was
lucky that my oncologist asked me early on if I felt any numbness in my feet and when I said I thought so he immediately prescribed Glutamine (at the natural food store) and Vitamin B6. It seems to have done the trick.
Glutamine is expensive so he cut the dose in half and it still worked. It is not to be confused with Glucosamine.

Nancy

Glutamine for neuropathy and other chemo supplements‏

From:   Wendy Ramsay (ramsaycafe@COMCAST.NET)

Sent:  12 March 2010 20:47:17

Hi Robert.
In 2006 I had a lot of strong chemo (gemzar/cisplatin, adriamycin/taxol, MVAC). My doc prescribed me 10 grams (3 scoops) of glutamine powder 3 times a day to minimize the side effects of chemo including neuropathy. I was told to start the day before chemo and continue for 5 days after. Since I had chemo once a week I was taking this supplement 6 days/week 3 x’s a day. I can personally attest to it’s effectiveness. I have no neuropathy even after all that chemo.

During chemo I slacked off a bit and began taking glutamine only twice a day. I noticed numbing in my feet and hands. As soon as I got back on track with taking the supplement 3 times a day, the numbing went away. I think it’s important to prevent neuropathy but I also think it can be reversed (or lessened) at some point before it becomes too severe.

Also, below is an old post (2006) of the supplements I took during chemo and some reasons why they were prescribed to me:

Fruit, etc Help, but No Sugar or Fruit Juices

From: Wendy Ramsay
Sent: Saturday, May 27, 2006 7:25 AM
Subject: [CAFE] chemo and supplements

Hi Anne,
I know this is a late reply, but there are supplements that work in conjuction with specific chemotherapies. You would need to hook up with a naturopath working in the field of cancer and/or bladder cancer. I have been taking supplements to aid, specifically, my gemzar/cisplatin treatments. Different chemos affect the body in different ways. The oncologist that is treating me doesn’t necessarily ‘believe’ in them either. I do need to take the time to print out the research supporting the supplements so that he can have it and hopefully bridge the gap a bit. In addition to supplements which I will list below, I was told adamantly to stay away from sugar except for the day I am receiving chemo. On that day, I should eat some sugar. I should not drink fruit juices but whole fruit is OK (there are differing opinions on staying away from fruit altogether). Two cups of coffee on the day of chemo was also recommended (he said I could still drink coffee the rest of the time but limit to 16 oz/day).  Soy every day. Also wild salmon, olive oil, 6 brazil nuts/day, sesame tahini (1 tablespoon/day), and lots of green tea. Below are the supplements prescribed to me. Several related specifically to decreasing metastases by binding the connectors of the cancer cells preventing them from taking hold and seeding (quercitin, fractionated fruit pectin, great tonifying formula herbal packets). Others support increased immune support or response to the chemo (melatonin, Coriolis mushroom, curcumin).

melatonin (20mg/ once before bed)
multi nutrients V (2 caps – 2x’s/day)
cal/mag    (500g 2x’s/day)
vit c    (1000 – 1x/day)
green tea (3 to 5 cups/day)

Greens First powder juice mix (1 scoop/day)     contains: barley grass juice powder, chlorella, spirulina, carrot juice powder, broccoli juice powder, cauliflower juice powder, spinach jjice powder, parsley juice powder, kale juice powder, green tea extract (decaf) blueberry, plum, grape seed extract, cranberry, rasberry, tart cherry, pine bark extract, bussel sprout, natural flavors, stevia, citric acid.

Whey protein (2 tsp – 1x/day)
cod liver oil (2 tsp/day)
curcumin (4 caps – 2 x’s/day take only the 3 days prior to chemo and not on day of chemo)
Coriolis mush (2 caps in am/ 3 caps in pm)

great tonifying extract powder formula (2 cups tea/day)    contains:   ginseng, angelica sinensis, peony root, atractylodes rhizome, hoelen, cinnamon bark, astragalus root, cnidium rhizome, licorice, tehmannia root)

quercitin (500 – 2 x’s/day)
fractionated pectin (1 scoop 2x’s/day)

Other supplements are prescribed for me depending on my individual labs etc as needed but these are the basics for my chemo regiment. The naturopath I see is Paul Reilly from Seattle Cancer Treatment and Wellness Center (Cancer Treatment Centers of America). His book (How to Prevent and Treat Cancer with Natural Medicine) does reference studies supporting various supplements to treatment.

Wendy Ramsay
Diagnosed 1994. Neobladder 2004. Right nephrectomy/chemo 2006. Upper tract chemo 2007/08. Left nephrectomy 2008. Home dialysis 6-7 x’s/week.

New Way To Fight Cancer: Protect Healthy Cells With The Silver Shield[xv]

ScienceDaily (Apr. 1, 2008) — A unique study proposes a new paradigm in cancer treatment: instead of selectively attacking cancer cells, protect all the healthy cells. Animal studies and in vitro human cell studies show that a short fast protects healthy cells against chemotherapy, while tumor cells remain sensitive to the drugs.

Fasting for two days protects healthy cells against chemotherapy, according to a study appearing online the week of Mar. 31 in PNAS Early Edition. Mice given a high dose of chemotherapy after fasting continued to thrive. The same dose killed half the normally fed mice and caused lasting weight and energy loss in the survivors.

The chemotherapy worked as intended on cancer, extending the lifespan of mice injected with aggressive human tumors, reported a group led by Valter Longo of the University of Southern California. Test tube experiments with human cells confirmed the differential resistance of normal and cancer cells to chemotherapy after a short period of starvation.

Making chemotherapy more selective has been a top cancer research goal for decades. Oncologists could control cancers much better, and even cure some, if chemotherapy were not so toxic to the rest of the body.

Experts described the study as one of a kind.

“This is a very important paper. It defines a novel concept in cancer biology,” said cancer researcher Pinchas Cohen, professor and chief of pediatric endocrinology at the University of California, Los Angeles.

“In theory, it opens up new treatment approaches that will allow higher doses of chemotherapy. It’s a direction that’s worth pursuing in clinical trials in humans.”

Felipe Sierra, director of the Biology of Aging Program at the National Institute on Aging, said: “This is not just one more anti-cancer treatment that attacks the cancer cells. To me, that’s an important conceptual difference.”

Sierra was referring to decades of efforts by thousands of researchers working on “targeted delivery” of drugs to cancer cells. Study leader Longo focused instead on protecting all the other cells.

Sierra added that progress in cancer care has made patients more resilient and able to tolerate fasting, should clinical trials confirm its usefulness.

“We have passed the stage where patients arrive at the clinic in an emaciated state. Not eating for two days is not the end of the world,” Sierra said.

“This could have applicability in maybe a majority of patients,” said David Quinn, a practicing oncologist and medical director of USC Norris Hospital and Clinics. He predicted that many oncology groups would be eager to test the Longo group’s findings, and advised patients to look for a clinical trial near home.

Longo, an anti-aging researcher who holds joint appointments in gerontology and biological sciences at USC, said that the idea of protecting healthy cells from chemotherapy may have seemed impractical to cancer researchers, because the body has many different cells that respond differently to many drugs.

“It was almost like an idea that was not even worth pursuing. In fact it had to come from the anti-aging field, because that’s what we focus on: protecting all cells at once,” Longo said.

“What really was missing was a perspective of someone from the aging field to give this field a boost,” UCLA’s Cohen said.

The idea for the study came from the Longo group’s previous research on aging in cellular systems, primarily lowly baker’s yeast.

About five years ago, Longo was thinking about the genetic pathways involved both in the starvation response and in mammalian tumors.

When the pathways are silenced, starved cells go into what Longo calls a maintenance mode characterized by extreme resistance to stresses. In essence the cells are waiting out the lean period, much like hibernating animals.

But tumors by definition disobey orders to stop growing because the same genetic pathways are stuck in an “on” mode.

That could mean, Longo realized, that the starvation response might differentiate normal and cancer cells by their stress resistance, and that healthy cells might withstand much more chemotherapy than cancer cells.

The shield for healthy cells does not need to be perfect, Longo said. What matters is the difference in stress resistance between healthy and cancerous cells.

During the study, conducted both at USC and in the laboratory of Lizzia Raffaghello at Gaslini Children’s Hospital in Genoa, Italy, the researchers found that current chemotherapy drugs kill as many healthy mammalian cells as cancer cells.

“(But) we reached a two to five-fold difference between normal and cancer cells, including human cells in culture. More importantly, we consistently showed that mice were highly protected while cancer cells remained sensitive,” Longo said.

If healthy human cells were just twice as resistant as cancer cells, oncologists could increase the dose or frequency of chemotherapy.

“We were able to reach a 1,000-fold differential resistance using a tumor model in baker’s yeast. If we get to just a 10-20 fold differential toxicity with human metastatic cancers, all of a sudden it’s a completely different game against cancer,” Longo said.

“Now we need to spend a lot of time talking to clinical oncologists to decide how to best proceed in the human studies.”

Edith Gralla, a research professor of chemistry at UCLA, said: “It is the sort of opposite of the magic bullet. It’s the magic shield.”

Funding from the study came from NIA (part of the National Institutes on Health), the USC Norris Cancer Center and the Associazione Italiana per la Lotta al Neuroblastoma.

USC graduate student Changhan Lee and Gaslini’s Raffaghello performed key experiments. The other authors were Fernando Safdie, Min Wei and Federica Madia of USC, and Giovanna Bianchi of Gaslini.

Longo has been studying aging at the cellular level for 15 years, and has published in the nation’s leading scientific journals. He is the Albert L. and Madelyne G. Hanson Family Trust Associate Professor in the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology with joint appointments as associate professor of biological sciences in the USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, and in the Norris Cancer Center.

For clinicians and patients

Fasting before chemotherapy has unknown risks and benefits for humans, Longo cautioned. Only clinical trials can establish the effectiveness and safety of fasting before chemotherapy.

“Don’t try and do this at home. We need to do the studies,” said Quinn, the USC Norris oncologist.


Adapted from materials provided by University of Southern California.

The diet that won’t just help you lose weight, you’ll live longer and be brainier! [xvi]

“But there’s now an effective weight-loss regimen that is not only simple, it promises significant health benefits – from easing asthma symptoms and reducing blood sugar levels, to fending off heart disease and breast cancer and protecting brain cells. Apparently, you’ll also live longer.

The diet goes under various names – The Alternate-Day Diet, Intermittent Fasting or The Longevity Diet – but the principle is the same: eat very little one day (50 per cent of your normal intake) and as much as you like the next.

This appears to trigger a ‘skinny’ gene that encourages the body to burn fat.

The Alternate-Day diet triggers a skinny gene that encourages the body to burn fat

Researchers first discovered the benefits of low-calorie eating in the Thirties. They found that putting a rat – or a worm, or a fruit fly or just about any animal, as it turned out – on a permanent very low calorie diet helped the animal live about 30 per cent longer than normal.

The animal had clearer arteries, lower levels of inflammation, better blood sugar control and its brain cells were less likely to get damaged. Meanwhile, rates of diseases linked to ageing all dropped.

But while scientists have known for years that animals on a low-calorie diet were healthier, no human – except a few iron-willed fanatics – could permanently stick to this regime.

The big breakthrough came in 2003 when Dr Mark Mattson, an American neuroscientist, discovered rats still enjoyed all those health benefits even when their calories were cut only on alternate days.

In other words, you don’t have to starve yourself all the time.

This was a crucial discovery, because the diet suddenly became a realistic option. In particular, it is far more palatable for the obese. The standard diet for them involves a daily intake of between 20 per cent and 40 per cent of what they would normally have.

‘These are very hard diets to follow,’ says Krista Varady, assistant professor of kinesiology and nutrition at the University of Illinois, Chicago.

You are constantly hungry. The eat-every-other-day-diet seems to offer an easier and more effective option.’

She’s just published the results of a ten-week trial of 16 patients, all weighing more than 14st.

They ate 20 per cent of their normal intake one day and a regular, healthy diet the next. Each lost between 10lb and 30lb; much more than the 5lb or 6lb expected.

‘It takes about two weeks to adjust to the diet and, after that, people don’t feel hungry on the fast days,’ says Varady.

Weight watching: Dieters should only consume around 500 calories on fasting days

Dr James Johnson, author of The Alternate-Day Diet, and a lecturer in plastic surgery, has now been doing the diet for five years.

‘I’ve always been a bit overweight. When I first started, I lost 35lb in 11 weeks.

‘Now I use the diet to keep my weight stable. If it starts going up, I’ll just go back on it for a few weeks. The evidence says this is about the most healthy thing you can do for yourself.’

One specific health benefit is relieving the symptoms of asthma – and that’s not just because the patients have lost weight.

A small study of ten obese asthmatics found that after eight weeks they’d lost eight per cent of their body weight; their symptoms of the disease had also greatly improved.

The study, conducted by Dr Johnson with scientists from the National Institute on Ageing ( including Dr Mattson) and Stamford University, showed patients had less inflammation in their lungs, making it easier for them to breathe.

They also had lower levels of damaging free radicals – the substances we produce simply by eating and breathing – which have been linked with heart disease and cancer.

‘The level of inflammation was down by 70 per cent and the level of free radicals by 90 per cent,’ says Dr Johnson. ‘No other dietary approach to asthma has recorded anything like that benefit.’

About two weeks after coming off the diet the patients’ symptoms began to return.

Meanwhile, British researchers are now looking at the benefits of the diet in preventing breast cancer in highrisk patients.

‘We’ve found a very low 800 calories-a- day diet dramatically lowers the enzymes that metabolise fat and glucose in breast tissue,’ says Dr Michelle Harvie, of the Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention Centre in Manchester. ‘These enzymes are always raised in breast cancer patients.’

When Dr Matteson made his discovery, it wasn’t clear exactly why very low calorie diets had such an effect on health and lifespan.

But in the past couple of years it’s emerged that a specific gene – SIRT1 – might explain the diet’s success; it seems the sudden, sharp stress of a big drop in food intake triggers this ‘skinny’ gene. ‘This then blocks another gene involved in storing fat,’ explains Dr Johnson.

‘The body starts using up more of the fat stores. As a result you lose more weight than you would from just eating fewer calories.’

The SIRT1 gene also seems to be responsible for all the benefits of semi-starvation found in animals – the drop in inflammation, lower blood sugar levels – as Dr Mattson and others reported this year in the journal Brain Research Reviews.

Perhaps not surprisingly, drug companies are working hard to develop medicines that imitate some of the diet’s effects by targeting the SIRT1 gene.

The weight-loss benefit could also be due to the way the diet tricks your body’s metabolism.

The problem with most diets is that after 48-to-72 hours this slows to compensate for the drop in food.

When you stop the diet and eat normally, the weight goes back on faster, as you’re eating more than your body thinks it needs to function.

The alternate day diet seems to get round that because it allows normal eating as well.

‘We’ve run trials that haven’t found any reduction in metabolic rate when people are on the alternate day diet,’ says Dr Johnson.

Enjoy: You can eat as much as you want on alternate days

How it works doesn’t matter to many people – the internet is already buzzing with those who claim dieting on alternate days has made weight loss easier.

One woman writing on a U.S-based website found that very little of the weight she’d lost went back on.

‘At the end of 2008 I lost 15lb and then I stopped the diet. Nine months later, in October, I’d only put on 2lb.

‘By the end of that month I’d lost what I’d gained and another 7.5lb. It is gone forever! Woohoo.’

Another described how the not eating days – described as ‘down’ days – are actually the easiest ones to manage.

‘It’s strangely true, but down days are a lot easier to stick to than the up days. I haven’t cheated on them once.

‘It really does work knowing you can “have it” tomorrow. It’s the eating days you have to be careful with as it would be quite easy to go over the top.’

Yet some British experts are concerned about the approach. ‘We advise anyone trying to lose weight should follow a healthy balanced diet,’ said a spokesperson for the Food Standards Agency.

‘It may not be possible to achieve this with very low calorie diets.’

However, Catherine Collins, spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association, was more enthusiastic about the weightloss benefits.

‘It sounds absolutely fine,’ she says ‘It would certainly make it easier to stick to a weight-loss programme, although I’d want to be sure people got enough fibre and protein and that they didn’t starve and binge in a fanatical way.’

However, she is sceptical about the health benefits being triggered by the SIRT1 gene.

‘We know weight loss has all sorts of metabolic benefits,’ she says.

‘That is probably what is going on rather than one gene being responsible.’

The big question now is to find the best schedule of eating and fasting that will bring the benefits and be the easiest to stick to. Alternate-day dieting has made the breakthrough, but it is only one option.

‘At the moment we are studying the benefits of having just two fasting days a week when you have very few calories, then eating normally for the rest of the week,’ says Dr Harvie.

‘Some form of fasting regime is definitely the way to go to get big health benefits. It just needs more research.’

• For more, visit: http://www.johnson updaydowndaydiet.com/index.html 

THE SIMPLE RULES YOU NEED TO FOLLOW

  • For the first fortnight Dr Johnson suggests you stick to just 500 calories on the fasting days to make sure you trigger the skinny gene (to make certain of your intake, try pre-packaged shakes or meal replacements).
  • After that, you can eat regular food on the fasting days. How much depends on your goal. Up to 35 per cent of your recommended daily intake will help you lose weight. Eating 50 or 60 per cent should allow you to maintain your weight.
  • You can eat as much as you want on the alternate days, but don’t binge. Make sure you have fruit and vegetables. It’s important to enjoy these days to avoid getting fed up with being on a diet.
  • Drink plenty of water and exercise regularly, especially on the eating days. Weigh yourself only once a week, on the morning after a fasting day, so you won’t become frustrated by normal weight variations.

Exercise May Keep Cancer Patients Healthier During, After Treatment[xvii]

ScienceDaily (May 20, 2010) — Breast and prostate cancer patients who regularly exercise during and after cancer treatment report having a better quality of life and being less fatigued, according to researchers at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

“Using exercise as an approach to cancer care has the potential to benefit patients both physically and psychologically, as well as mitigate treatment side effects,” says study lead author Eleanor M. Walker, M.D., division director of breast services in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Henry Ford Hospital.

“Plus, exercise is a great alternative to patients combating fatigue and nausea who are considering using supplements which may interfere with medications and chemotherapy they’re taking during cancer treatment.”

Dr. Walker will present a poster with the study’s design and intervention methods June 7 at the 2010 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in Chicago. The abstract is now available online at www.ASCO.org.

To study how exercise impacts cancer patients, Dr. Walker and her colleagues at Henry Ford’s Josephine Ford Cancer Center and the Henry Ford Heart & Vascular Institute developed a unique program called ExCITE (Exercise and Cancer Integrative Therapies and Education).

ExCITE works with patients who are receiving cancer treatment to create individualized exercise programs. Some patients come into one of Henry Ford’s fitness centers to workout, while others have plans that allow them to exercise at home during various stages of their care.

The study group thus far includes 30 female breast cancer patients and 20 prostate cancer patients, all ranging in age from 35 to 80. All were newly diagnosed when they began ExCITE. The study followed the patients during treatment and for one-year following completion of cancer treatment.

Before beginning the exercise program, Henry Ford’s Preventative Cardiology Division measured the patients’ exercise capacity, skeletal muscle strength and endurance. General blood work, metabolic screens, bone density and inflammatory biomarkers also were obtained at the start of the program.

Exercise and diet recommendation for each patient were based on their baseline exercise tolerances, weight, overall health, and type of cancer treatment they would receive. Acupuncture was used for patients who experienced hot flashes, pain, nausea/vomiting, insomnia and neuropathy as the result of cancer treatment.

Cheryl Fallen of Gross Pointe Park, Mich., was undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer while she took part in the ExCITE program. Through a mix of exercise, acupuncture and good nutrition, she didn’t experiencing some of the more common side-effects from treatment — nausea, fatigue and trouble with memory.

“ExCITE offers cancer patients a way to holistically approach their cancer care by tailoring a specific exercise routine to fit the needs of the patient, whether it’s rehabilitation after surgery, or to enhance circulation or improve the immune system prior to chemotherapy or radiation,” says Fallen.

When her white blood cell count fell during chemotherapy, Fallen would work out at home using an exercise band or by walking outdoors. When she was well enough to return to the gym, her workouts consisted of using the exercise ball and treadmill, and doing other strength-training exercises.

“Overall, the program makes you feel better about yourself. It’s a positive support for cancer patients, and I really think it’s allowed me to be more productive during my treatment,” says Fallen.

Study of the ExCITE program is ongoing, with Dr. Walker and her colleagues continuing to investigate the potential benefits of exercise for cancer patients.

Study funding: Josephine Ford Cancer Center, part of the Henry Ford Health System, and Mothers, Daughters, Sisters & Friends, a group dedicated to raising funds for breast cancer care and research at Henry Ford.

Story Source:

Adapted from materials provided by Henry Ford Health System, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

See Also:

New exercise guidelines for cancer survivors

The first and most important guideline, Schmitz said, is that patients and survivors must avoid inactivity. They must continue their normal activities during and after treatment, and resume daily life as soon as possible after surgery. Other specific recommendations include:

> Over the course of one month, it’s safe to build sedentary patients up to 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week
> It’s safe for patients undergoing stem cell transplant to exercise every day, but these patients should reduce intensity and progression of intensity because of the effects on the immune system
> For patients suffering from weight loss, resistance training can help build strength
> For those with prostate, hematologic, and colon cancers, twice-weekly resistance training is recommended: one exercise for each major muscle group for eight to 10 repetitions, and one to three sets per exercise
> Women with breast and gynecologic cancers should start with a supervised resistance training program given the risk for lymphedema
> Given side effects such as incontinence and sexual dysfunction, floor exercises should be added to an exercise routine for men with prostate cancer
> Colon cancer patients with an ostomy should avoid excessive intra-abdominal pressures

How to Take Care of Yourself During Chemotherapy[xviii]

Continue all of the recommendations for what to do in preparation for chemotherapy, and increase protein powder supplementation to twice a day. If you are still experiencing some nausea, try these strategies:

  • Eat smaller, more frequent meals. Five or 6 snack-type meals a day can reduce some of the stress on your digestive tract. Smoothies make a perfect meal.
  • Do not lie down after eating. Allow yourself an hour or more to digest. Try a short walk after meals or, if you need to rest, sit with your legs stretched out and your head propped up with pillows.
  • Do not drink liquids with your meals. This keeps your digestive juices at full strength, promoting complete digestion and reducing indigestion.
  • Drink plenty of liquids between meals (at least 1 hour before or after meals). Ginger tea and peppermint time have anti-nausea/stomach settling properties. Drink them warm or iced, as you prefer. Also include vegetable and fruit juices (fresh squeezed for the highest nutrient content, if possible) and clear broths. Avoid sugar as it can increase your risk for intestinal candida infection that is very common at this vulnerable time. If you must use a sweetener, use a grain-derived sweetener like rice syrup or barley malt.
  • Avoid all fatty foods. Focus your diet on fresh fruits, steamed or boiled vegetables, light grains and proteins.
  • If you are experiencing vomiting and severe diarrhea, include sea salted vegetable broths or miso broth. These salty additions will help to keep your electrolytes balanced and can revive you when you are feeling faint. (Miso is a salty paste made from soybeans and can be found in health food stores, Asian food markets and some supermarkets).

Recommendations – Supplements To Take With Specific Chemotherapy Drugs
The side effects of chemotherapy can be reduced by decreasing the toxicity of the chemotherapy medication. Contrary to what one might expect, this does not make the chemotherapy any less effective at doing its job —killing cancer cells. More often than not, decreasing its toxicity increases a drug’s effectiveness. Supplements known to decrease various chemotherapy drugs’ toxicity are listed below. Also listed are substances known to increase the effectiveness of certain drugs.

Drug Substances That Decrease Toxicity Substances That Increase Effectiveness
Adriamycin CoQ10, Vitamin E, Riboflavin, NAC (N-Acetylcysteine), Vitamin C, Antioxidants Vitamin E, Green Tea, Vitamin A
CIS Platinum Recancostat*, Glutathione IV*, Ginkgo biloba, Milk Thistle, Selenium, Magnesium Recancostat* Vitamin C, Vitamin A
Neosar Ashwaganda herb* Aloe Vera Extract, Bu Zhong Yi Qi Wan*, Vitamin A
5 FU Vitamin B6, CoQ10, Chamomile mouthwash, Glutamine mouthwash Vitamin A, L-cysteine, Vitamin E, Aloe Vera, Calcium Butyrate
Methotrexate Glutamine Vitamin A, Glutamine, Proteolytic enzymes/Wobenzyme
Taxol Vitamin C
Tamoxifen Soy isoflavones, natural progesterone, Remifemin Melatonin
Vincristine Vitamin C Vitamin A

Chemo, Tinnitus‏ & Hearing Loss

From:   S. Norbash (sidnorbash@SBCGLOBAL.NET)

Sent:  10 June 2010 11:45:00
My husband has had transitional cell carcinoma and is followed every 6 months at MD Anderson. (left kidney, ureter and bladder “cuff” removed, BCG, etc….)  I “lurk” here to try to keep up with the latest and read the recent posts about tinnitus.  I am an audiologist and have monitored hearing in cancer patients for clinical trials, etc… It always pains me to know the likely consequences as far as hearing, but usually there is no choice.  my husband had gemzar and cisplatin chemo and now wears hearing aids.  the full effects of the chemo on hearing will often not show up for months after treatment is concluded.  His tinnitus is not severe, but he has mild to moderate hearing loss.  He had “no choice” since hearing aids are what I do,   🙂 but he does get great benefit from them and I would encourage you to see what’s out there, especially a new device that is an advanced digital hearing aid AND a tinnitus masker in one.  I have heard of
good success with it.  If you are interested, I would suggest contacting a local audiologist and asking about it.  The name is ReSound Live TS.  Most audiologists offer a trial period where you could see if it is helpful or not.

Cold Caps Prevent Hair Loss

From:  clozie@COMCAST.NET
> Subject: [CAFE] Glutamine to prevent neuropathy, and “cold cap” to prevent hair loss
> To: BLADDER-CANCER-CAFE@LISTSERV.ACOR.ORG Date: Thu, 9 Sep 2010 16:58:12 -0400

Nancy and Wendy,

I totally agree with both you.  Though I am not surprise, I find it revolting that so many oncologist won’t even “mention” Glutamine as well as other things that might be outside the “mainstream” of current oncology but which, nonetheless, “might” or are even “very likely” to help palliate some of the terrible side-effects of the “mainstream” pharmaceutical drugs that they recommend without any hesitation.

Here is another example which I want to pass along:  in my current chemo, I have been using a “cold cap” — a cap, made of cold-gel packs, which I keep over my head 15 minutes before, during and for another hour or so after the infusion;  and, after 10 infusions of Andriamycin, I still have all the hair on my head!  I am totally hairless everywhere else in my body (nice, actually — I have not needed to shave since March!), EXCEPT on my head — so, there is no question whatsoever that the “cold cap” is what prevented me from losing my hair.  And even though hair loss is, as Nancy pointed out, a “temporary” side-effect, it is still one of the most annoying ones.  I lost my hair in each one of the 4 chemos that I did before this one — that got really old!

Just like with Glutamine to preven neuropathy, why don’t oncologist doctors and nurses at least “mention” cold caps as a “possible” way to prevent hair loss??

I can understand that some would hesitate to “recommend” such things based on the common (and I think truthful, in many cases) allegation that “not enough studies have been done about it to *proof* anything scientifically”.  However, they must know, or at least should know that not enough studies will *EVER* be done about some of these things, NOT because they don’t make sense logically/theoretically or because they are not worth-studying, but because obviously these things are not patentable, therefore no profit-seeking corporation will ever dump the necessary millions or billions of dollars that are usually needed to do repeated studies in order to “proof” anything scientifically.

However, though in comparatively limited numbers and with less “rigor” (scientific rigor usually requires more money), both in the case of Glutamine as well as for the “cold caps” there HAVE been studies done — I don’t have the reference handy but I have read a couple of them by searching the net or Pubmed.  And they HAVE “demonstrated” that they worked for at least a great number of the patients in these particular studies!  I am quoting this “by memory”, so I might not get the figures right, but in the case of “cold caps” the study that I read demonstrated that it had prevented hair loss in more than 85% of the cases — that is a HUGE percentage, given that most of the toxic chemos that oncologists recommend, particularly in the metastatic stage, only work for much less than that!  I was once recommended a chemo that it is “proven” to work for only about 13% of the cases!  And although the numbers are a lot more promising in the first line treatments — as you all know, fortunately many people ARE cured by the first and only chemo that they ever take! — I believe that in the metastatic stage, unfortunately, the average response rates are around 15-30% at best.

Given that Glutamine and “cold caps” don’t seem to have any “toxic” side effects — from what I read, EVEN if they don’t work, they at least are not likely to cause any serious damage —  it is really revolting that we, the patients, are not at least “told” about the “possibility” of using these things to palliate these two very bad potential side effects of chemo.

In any event, now that I am sure it has worked for me, I am telling everybody I know to Google “cold cap chemo” before their first infusion to judge for themselves whether they should give it a try and perhaps save their hair.  I was told about this by a friend of mine and I did not have time to purchase the commercially available caps, so my husband made one for me using those “blue” cold gel packs that are used for sore muscles and that he bought, cheaply, at our local CVS pharmacy.  Once I have more time, he and I are planning on writing about it in more details for people that don’t want or can not afford the commercial caps.

As to Glutamine, I learned about it a couple of years ago right here at the WebCafe, probably thru one of your emails, Wendy — thanks for sharing your experience always so generously!  Unfortunately, that was not in time for my cysplatin chemo, and obviously I wish my doctor had told me about it.  I have used it during other chemos ever since, and I have been telling every patient I know about it.

I hope this long email helps save someone’s hair one day :)!!

Best,

–Claudia

Fruit, etc Help, but No Sugar or Fruit Juices

From: Wendy Ramsay
Sent: Saturday, May 27, 2006 7:25 AM
Subject: [CAFE] chemo and supplements

Hi Anne,
I know this is a late reply, but there are supplements that work in conjuction with specific chemotherapies. You would need to hook up with a naturopath working in the field of cancer and/or bladder cancer. I have been taking supplements to aid, specifically, my gemzar/cisplatin treatments. Different chemos affect the body in different ways. The oncologist that is treating me doesn’t necessarily ‘believe’ in them either. I do need to take the time to print out the research supporting the supplements so that he can have it and hopefully bridge the gap a bit. In addition to supplements which I will list below, I was told adamantly to stay away from sugar except for the day I am receiving chemo. On that day, I should eat some sugar. I should not drink fruit juices but whole fruit is OK (there are differing opinions on staying away from fruit altogether). Two cups of coffee on the day of chemo was also recommended (he said I could still drink coffee the rest of the time but limit to 16 oz/day).  Soy every day. Also wild salmon, olive oil, 6 brazil nuts/day, sesame tahini (1 tablespoon/day), and lots of green tea. Below are the supplements prescribed to me. Several related specifically to decreasing metastases by binding the connectors of the cancer cells preventing them from taking hold and seeding (quercitin, fractionated fruit pectin, great tonifying formula herbal packets). Others support increased immune support or response to the chemo (melatonin, Coriolis mushroom, curcumin).

melatonin (20mg/ once before bed)
multi nutrients V (2 caps – 2x’s/day)
cal/mag    (500g 2x’s/day)
vit c    (1000 – 1x/day)
green tea (3 to 5 cups/day)

Greens First powder juice mix (1 scoop/day)     contains: barley grass juice powder, chlorella, spirulina, carrot juice powder, broccoli juice powder, cauliflower juice powder, spinach jjice powder, parsley juice powder, kale juice powder, green tea extract (decaf) blueberry, plum, grape seed extract, cranberry, rasberry, tart cherry, pine bark extract, bussel sprout, natural flavors, stevia, citric acid.

Whey protein (2 tsp – 1x/day)
cod liver oil (2 tsp/day)
curcumin (4 caps – 2 x’s/day take only the 3 days prior to chemo and not on day of chemo)
Coriolis mush (2 caps in am/ 3 caps in pm)

great tonifying extract powder formula (2 cups tea/day)    contains:   ginseng, angelica sinensis, peony root, atractylodes rhizome, hoelen, cinnamon bark, astragalus root, cnidium rhizome, licorice, tehmannia root)

quercitin (500 – 2 x’s/day)
fractionated pectin (1 scoop 2x’s/day)

Other supplements are prescribed for me depending on my individual labs etc as needed but these are the basics for my chemo regiment. The naturopath I see is Paul Reilly from Seattle Cancer Treatment and Wellness Center (Cancer Treatment Centers of America). His book (How to Prevent and Treat Cancer with Natural Medicine) does reference studies supporting various supplements to treatment.

Wendy Ramsay
Diagnosed 1994. Neobladder 2004. Right nephrectomy/chemo 2006. Upper tract chemo 2007/08. Left nephrectomy 2008. Home dialysis 6-7 x’s/week.


[viii] Date: Sun, 6 Feb 2011 09:12:26 +1100 From: pete.granger@GMAIL.COM Subject: [CAFE] Curcumin and Resveratrol – Chemoresistance To: BLADDER-CANCER-CAFE@LISTSERV.ACOR.ORG

[xviii] http://www.oncologychannel.com/chemotherapy/care.shtml

NOTE: The 2012 edition of The Cancer Survivor’s Bible is now available – see www.fightingcancer.com for details

“The section on conventional treatment was riveting.”

 

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  6. Erlene Gehr said

    I find that olive leaf is a very good stuff to use in the skin. It is really very soothing and it is full of phytochemicals as well which helps fight cancer. *;.”;

    Kind regards
    http://www.foodsupplementdigest.com/vitamin-d3-deficiency/

  7. Dana Babikian said

    illions of compounds are detoxified within each liver cell, or hepatocyte. Inevitably, this wear and tear compromises liver cells and surrounding connective tissue. Hepatotoxicity is fast becoming a major health issue. In fact, many practitioners believe poor liver function caused by toxin accumulation or by liver-function decline may contribute to other seemingly unrelated illnesses, such as rheumatoid arthritis, eczema, migraine headaches and premenstrual syndrome, and may manifest symptoms of its own. As a result, milk thistle (Silybum marianum) is widely prescribed by herbalists throughout Europe and the Americas for liver protection. *

    Our very own blog site
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