Thursday, July 31, 2014

First do no harms – Integrating complementary therapies into cancer care

For years advocates and patients have been concerned over the short and long-term adverse effects caused by conventional treatment. Even in this era of consecutive chemotherapies designed to reduce toxicities, we are still experiencing them. Using a muga scan to examine the heart before certain treatments works to discover who already has heart weakness ,but speaks not at all to those who will develop it. Similarly with neuropathy, once developed, it is extremely damaging and not under control. We suggest the use of certain natural supplements which in a variety of studies seem to enhance chemo treatments and may reduce the risks of many of the adverse effects suffered by the human being behind the cancer. This is of grave concern to our advocacy organization. Examples abound of substances that are GRAS. A study on fish oil (Omega-3) in mice indicated it was synergistic with doxorubicin and slowed tumor growth without increasing toxicity. A variety of studies point to its value in cachexia, and some believe it shows promise as an anti angiogenic agent. Curcumin has been shown to affect 9 pathways in the body – it is able to induce glutathione S-transferase activity. When combined with piperine (black pepper) its value is mightily enhanced. It may work equally well in ER+ or ER- breast cancer cells. It has demonstrated an ability to inhibit the enzyme ornithine decarboxylase (ODC), and curcumin preferentially arrests cancer cells in the G2/S phase of the cell cycle. A study in mice demonstrated that turmeric/curcumin may protect cancer patients from the burns and blisters suffered as adverse effects of radiation therapy. This same paper, presented in 2002 suggested that the benefit of RTx is enhanced as well. Topically applied tea may reduce radiation burns per a study from UCLA reported in 2006. L-theanine, an amino acid, has been shown to enhance doxirubicin's cancer killing effects, while protecting normal cells. Many studies indicate bnefit from the addition of vit D – this is being studied in several labs now. One study indicated enhancement of paclitaxel through the addition of vit D analogues. The vitamin D3 analog, ILX-23-7553, enhances the response to Adriamycin and irradiation in MCF-7 breast tumor cells. Also in vitro, both tumorigenicity and metastatic ability decreased after addition of N-acetylcysteine or selenium (from a 2001 study). Quercetin, a flavinoid molecule, has in vitro and some preliminary animal and human data indicate it inhibits tumor growth, as well as having little toxicity (2000). Quercetin has been used to enhance hyperthermia as well. B12 among other B vitamins has been shown to inhibit tumor cell growth in MC7 cells. A 2002 study showed (in rats) that supplementation of a niacin-adequate, high quality diet with pharmacologic levels of nicotinic acid or nicotinamide increases NAD+ and poly(ADP-ribose) levels in bone marrow and may be protective against DNA damage. CoQ10 is finally being studied as cardio-protective in a human trial right now. Alpha lipoic acid and glutathione have been indicated as helpful for prevention/reduction of neuropathy. These and many other natural substances, mostly GRAS, call out for more study and inclusion in our treatment protocols. They are likely not toxic and in a system where drugs of great toxicity are routinely given, it just makes sense.

Fish oil

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