Friday, November 6, 2015

Where Integrative Oncology is needed, it is NOT there

Today, November 6, 2015 an email from Cancer Network informed me that ASCO (Am Soc for Clinical Oncology) just updated their 2011 recommendations for nausea and vomiting.  Nov 2015 antiemetics

Since I keep track of this kind of thing, I remember that some years ago, ASCO reported that GINGER worked really well for nausea even when using anti-emetics (pharmaceutical drugs that do NOT work for everyone).

My next step was to examine the guidelines - NO mention of GINGER. I looked back at the 2011 guidelines - NO mention of GINGER.

Then I found an article from 2009 discussing their announcement. ('Somehow' this has been left out of clinical guidelines) despite glowing statements of its value.  But as we know, ginger cannot be patented and therefore has no business-model ‘champion’.  It matters not that it WORKS.
“Compared to placebo, the researchers found that all three doses of ginger significantly reduced nausea. They also observed that the two lowest doses had the greatest effect, reducing nausea by about 40 percent.  (0.5, 1.0, or 1.5 grams)

"By taking the ginger prior to chemotherapy treatment, the National Cancer Institute-funded study suggests its earlier absorption into the body may have anti-inflammatory properties," Ryan said in a statement.”

Comparing to placebo is insane anyway because it really ought to have gone head-tohead with the drugs that work to reduce nausea or vomiting BUT cause their own toxic adverse effects.  Some people – most people, refer to these as ‘side’ effects.

Here, taken from, is a list of the possible adverse effects of forsaprepitant that are ‘More common:

  • Black, tarry stools
  • blurred vision
  • chills
  • confusion
  • cough
  • decreased urination
  • difficult or labored breathing
  • dizziness
  • dry mouth
  • fainting
  • fever
  • increase in heart rate
  • lightheadedness
  • lower back or side pain
  • nervousness
  • pain, swelling, or redness at the injection site
  • painful or difficult urination
  • pale skin
  • pounding in the ears
  • rapid breathing
  • shortness of breath
  • slow or fast heartbeat
  • sore throat
  • sunken eyes
  • tenderness, swelling, warmth, or skin discoloration at the injection site
  • thirst
  • tightness in the chest
  • ulcers, sores, or white spots in mouth
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • wheezing
  • wrinkled skin

But as they very often occur in large numbers of trial participants or drug users, they are not really aside from anything, are they?  Language matters.  And the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) has NOT standardized how adverse effects are measured.  So that means my Grade 3 or 4 (worse) may be judged Grade 2 by the involved Principal Investigator (PI) of the trial.  In fact I once contacted FDA to ask what ‘rare’ meant.  I was told that the PI was the decider here.

THIS is why I support Integrative Oncology. Integrative means the ability to look at drugs AND natural substances so that the best COMBINATION might be offered to people in need!

Don't you agree?