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Alternative Cancer News

March 3, 2011 Written by JP    [Font too small?]

A prerequisite for using natural medicine to its greatest advantage is to maintain a healthy reservoir of common sense. This is sometimes difficult to do when you or someone you love is diagnosed with a life threatening illness. In these vulnerable times, one has the tendency to trust otherwise unbelievable claims out of a desperate need for finding a cure. Regrettably, too many opportunistic authors and questionable healers in the alternative health community use this circumstance to sell books, devices and services. As you can imagine, the end result, can be disastrous and heartbreaking.

Cancer tops the list when it comes to hyperbolic claims about “secret healing techniques” that “mainstream doctors don’t want you to know about”. This type of verbiage is almost always a tip-off that you’re hearing a sales pitch and not in the midst of a serious medical discussion. Fortunately, there are serious scientists examining the viability of using natural substances in the fight against cancer. They don’t promise miracles, but they do offer glimpses of hope via improved treatment outcomes and reduced side effects.

Dr. Abulkalam Shamsuddin of the University of Maryland School of Medicine has been a pioneer in the field of integrative oncology for the past several decades. His current area of expertise is the study of a natural compound known as IP6 or inositol hexaphosphate. This may sound like some sort of chemical produced deep in the recesses of a pharmaceutical laboratory. In reality, IP6 is a naturally occurring component of many plant-based foods including rice bran. An impressive amount of preclinical research conducted by Dr. Shamsuddin and others has revealed some very promising data about the anti-cancer potential of a combination of IP6 and the B-vitamin, inositol.

In February 2010, a little known trial marked the first occasion when this natural combination was put to the test in human subjects. A total of 14 women with invasive breast cancer were randomly assigned to receive either IP6 + inositol (6 grams/day) or a placebo over the course of 6 months. All of the study participants had just undergone cancer surgery and took part in six cycles of FEC polychemotherapy during the trial period. The primary differences between the two treatment groups is that those receiving IP6 did not experience an expected drop in blood cell count, leukocytes (white blood cells) or platelets. In addition, a “significantly better quality of life and functional status” was reported in the IP6 users, along with a greater ability to perform daily tasks. However, there are other details about the trial that require mention: a) red blood cell counts and tumor markers were not notably different between the two groups; b) the placebo used in the study was Vitamin C. The latter point is relevant because high-dosage Vitamin C may influence the progression of cancer and, therefore, isn’t a very good candidate for a placebo. (1,2,3,4,5,6,7)

The mere mention of the word “chemotherapy” causes many natural health proponents to recoil. This is completely understandable. My own personal view about this controversial treatment is that it should always be considered. That’s right, always. If the statistics aren’t very impressive for the type of cancer you’re dealing with, you can always decide on another treatment approach. But there’s no sense in summarily disregarding a treatment that may have value in select malignancies – especially when it’s judiciously combined with nutritional components.

Researchers from the University of Alberta, Edmonton in Canada have discovered that the addition of fish oil to “first-line chemotherapy” can dramatically improve the response rate in patients being treated for advanced lung cancer. The study in question enrolled 46 participants into two groups. A segment received the typical “standard of care” (SOC) therapy. The remainder combined 2.5 grams/day of DHA + EPA (fish oil) with the chemotherapeutic agents: carboplatin, gemcitabine and vinorelbine. Clinical exams and imaging techniques were employed to evaluate the respective efficacy of the two treatment protocols. The results revealed that the chemo + fish oil patients demonstrated a response rate of 60% vs. 25.8% in the SOC group. What’s more, the one-year survival rates figured in at 60% for the fish oil users and 38.7% in the standard of care patients. Previous inquiries using DHA, a fatty acid found in fish oil, have likewise reported favorable outcomes. The mechanisms by which fish oil supports chemotherapy may include “enhanced drug activation”, an “increase in drug uptake” and the promotion of tumor cell damage. Thus far, the beneficial effects of this integrative approach have not come at the price of added side effects or toxicity. (8,9,10)

IP6 + Inositol May Reduce Chemotherapy-Related Side Effects

Source: Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 2010, 29:12 (link)

The topic of antioxidants and cancer prevention is controversial in-and-of-itself. Taking antioxidant supplements while undergoing cancer treatment is even more so. Of late, several groups of researchers have shown professional courage in scientifically assessing the value of using specific antioxidants concurrently with allopathic breast cancer care. A study published in the March 2011 issue of the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention examined the supplement-taking habits of 4,877 women with invasive breast cancer., The incidence of cancer recurrence and mortality were documented over the course of about 4 years. According to the researchers from Vanderbilt University Medical Center, women who used antioxidant supplements (multivitamins, Vitamin C & E) experienced a lower mortality rate (-18%) and reduced recurrence risk (-22%). The authors go on to explain that “The inverse association was found regardless of whether vitamin use was concurrent or nonconcurrent with chemotherapy, but was present only among patients who did not receive radiotherapy”. Two recently published studies from India have similarly reported advantages to administering Vitamins C and/or Vitamin E during chemotherapy or tamoxifen treatment for breast cancer. (11,12,13)

The above emerging data is only part of the story. What I hope that you’ll notice is that I haven’t made any exaggerated claims about the healing power of antioxidants, fish oil or IP6. Instead, I focused on the facts. This is what I think you should look for when examining treatment options. But there’s something else you can personally do to improve the quality of natural health information that makes the rounds on the Internet and elsewhere. Support authors and researchers who are working hard to present solid information that can practically inform important health care decisions. These are the good guys who rarely get the same amount of attention as those making irresponsible but provocative claims about unrealistic cures. We should all strive to have hope when facing any serious health challenge. But combining hope with reliable research is far more powerful than hope without a solid foundation.

Note: Please check out the “Comments & Updates” section of this blog – at the bottom of the page. You can find the latest research about this topic there!

Be well!


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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Nutritional Supplements

19 Comments & Updates to “Alternative Cancer News”

  1. David Emerson Says:

    Excellent blog post JP. The meta analysis linked below is not a “provocative claim” but simply an analysis of studies. The analysis supports the idea that anti-oxidant supplementation during therapy both increases efficacy while reducing toxicity of therapy.



    David Emerson

  2. JP Says:

    Thank you, David. An important link to be sure. I appreciate you sharing it with us.

    Be well!


  3. Liverock Says:

    Clinical trials are now beginning using inositol for teating lung cancer. I think it would be more effective if the NIH used Inositol Hexaphosphate(IP6)which has the 6(Hexa)phosphate molecules attached to Inositol.


    There is a comprehensive book by Dr Shamsuddin on all his research on IP6 and cancer at Amazon. You can get a good used copy for a few dollars.


  4. JP Says:


    Thanks for bringing the inositol information to my/our attention. Here’s a preliminary study that hints at its potential:


    In the future, I may try to book an interview with Dr. Shamsuddin. I’ve been following his work since the 90’s. Very interesting and promising, IMO.

    Be well!


  5. Shaun Wilcox Says:

    You are completely right about these scams. What people don’t realize is that the real hidden secret is a lifelong commitment to health and wellness. I saw this movie How To Live Forever and they did some interesting comparisons to people in different countries that have different life spans and quality of life in later years. The reason for some these old age “hot spots” is that their society promotes a healthy and happy lifestyle.

  6. JP Says:

    Update: A cold cap may protect against chemotherapy-induced hair loss …

    More Info: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/03/09/keeping-your-hair-in-chemo/?_r=0

    “Hair loss is one of the most obvious side effects of cancer treatment. Now, a growing number of breast cancer patients are freezing their scalps as a way to preserve their hair during chemotherapy.

    The hair-saving treatment, widely used in Europe, requires a specialized frozen cap worn tightly on the head before, during and for a couple hours after a chemotherapy session. The method can be time consuming, expensive and uncomfortable, but numerous women swear by the results.”

    Be well!


  7. JP Says:

    Update 04/17/15:


    Integr Cancer Ther April 14, 2015

    High-Dose Asian Ginseng (Panax Ginseng) for Cancer-Related Fatigue
    A Preliminary Report

    Introduction and Objective. Cancer-related fatigue (CRF) is the most common and severe symptom in patients with cancer. The number and efficacy of available treatments for CRF are limited. The objective of this preliminary study was to assess the safety of high-dose Panax ginseng (PG) for CRF. Methods. In this prospective, open-label study, 30 patients with CRF (≥4/10) received high-dose PG at 800 mg orally daily for 29 days. Frequency and type of side effects were determined by the National Cancer Institute’s Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events, version 4.0. Scores on the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy–Fatigue (FACIT-F) scale, Edmonton Symptom Assessment System (ESAS), and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) were assessed at baseline, day 15, and day 29. Global Symptom Evaluation (GSE) was assessed at day 29. Results. Of the 30 patients enrolled, 24 (80%) were evaluable. The median age was 58 years; 50% were females, and 84% were white. No severe (≥grade 3) adverse events related to the study drug were reported. Of the 24 evaluable patients, 21 (87%) had an improved (by ≥3 points) FACIT-F score by day 15. The mean ESAS score (standard deviation) for well-being improved from 4.67 (2.04) to 3.50 (2.34) (P = .01374), and mean score for appetite improved from 4.29 (2.79) to 2.96 (2.46) (P = .0097). GSE score of PG for fatigue was ≥3 in 15/24 patients (63%) with median improvement of 5. Conclusion. PG is safe and improves CRF fatigue as well as overall quality of life, appetite, and sleep at night. Randomized controlled trials of PG for CRF are justified.

    Be well!


  8. JP Says:

    Update 06/10/15:


    Complement Ther Med. 2015 Jun;23(3):396-404.

    Effects of inhaled ginger aromatherapy on chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting and health-related quality of life in women with breast cancer.

    OBJECTIVE: To assess the efficacy of inhaled ginger aromatherapy on nausea, vomiting and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in chemotherapy breast cancer patients.

    DESIGN: Single-blind, controlled, randomized cross-over study. Patients received 5-day aromatherapy treatment using either ginger essential oil or fragrance-matched artificial placebo (ginger fragrance oil) which was instilled in a necklace in an order dictated by the treatment group sequence.

    SETTING: Two oncology clinics in the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia.

    MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: VAS nausea score, frequency of vomiting and HRQoL profile (EORTC QLQ-C30 scores).

    RESULTS: Sixty female patients completed the study (age=47.3±9.26 years; Malay=98.3%; on highly emetogenic chemotherapy=86.7%). The VAS nausea score was significantly lower after ginger essential oil inhalation compared to placebo during acute phase (P=0.040) but not sustained for overall treatment effect (treatment effect: F=1.82, P=0.183; time effect: F=43.98, P<0.001; treatment×time effect: F=2.04; P=0.102). Similarly, there was no significant effect of aromatherapy on vomiting [F(1, 58)=0.29, P=0.594]. However, a statistically significant change from baseline for global health status (P<0.001) was detected after ginger essential oil inhalation. A clinically relevant 10 points improvement on role functioning (P=0.002) and appetite loss (P<0.001) were also documented while patients were on ginger essential oil.

    CONCLUSION: At present time, the evidence derived from this study is not sufficiently convincing that inhaled ginger aromatherapy is an effective complementary therapy for CINV. The findings for HRQoL were however encouraging with significant improvement in several domains.

    Be well!


  9. JP Says:

    Update 06/26/15:


    J Med Case Rep. 2015 Jun 24;9(1):148.

    Improved antioxidant status by omega-3 fatty acid supplementation in breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy: a case series.

    INTRODUCTION: Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women worldwide and the third most common cancer in India. Various studies have reported that chemotherapy reduces the antioxidant status in patients with cancer. A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids has been shown to offer protection against breast cancer through various mechanisms. However, there are no reports suggesting a relationship between consumption of omega-3 fatty acids during chemotherapy and antioxidant status in patients with breast cancer. Thus, the objective of this study was to evaluate whether fish oil supplementation could improve the antioxidant status of five women with breast cancer undergoing chemotherapy.

    CASE PRESENTATION: We report on the cases of five Indian women with breast cancer, in the age group of 34 to 60 years, who had poorly differentiated breast carcinoma and underwent modified radical mastectomy. Postsurgery, the patients were given fish oil capsules containing eicosapentaenoic acid (180mg) and docosahexaenoic acid (120mg)/capsule during their chemotherapy. Informed consent was obtained from each participant and they were followed-up to the completion of six chemotherapy cycles at 21-day intervals.

    CONCLUSIONS: The supplementation of fish oil significantly (p < 0.01) increased superoxide dismutases, glutathione reductase and catalase activity in red blood cells as well as the total plasma antioxidant status in the patients. This approach of using omega-3 fatty acids as an adjuvant treatment for breast cancer may help oncologists to manage the side effects of ongoing chemotherapy by improving the antioxidant status in patients. Be well! JP

  10. JP Says:

    Updated 11/11/15:


    Nutr Cancer. 2015 Sep 18:1-8.

    Fish Oil Supplementation and Quality of Life in Stage II Colorectal Cancer Patients: A 24-Month Follow-Up Study.

    Research suggests that cancer survivors have an interest in lifestyle changes following a diagnosis. However, few studies have prospectively investigated whether these changes result in positive outcomes. The objective of this study was to examine the associations between fish oil supplementation and quality of life (QoL), cancer recurrence, and all-cause mortality in Stage 2 colorectal cancer (CRC) patients following diagnosis. Four hundred fifty-three patients were enrolled from the North Carolina Cancer Registry from 2009 to 2011. Data on demography, treatment, and health behaviors were collected at diagnosis, 12-, and 24 mo postdiagnosis. Generalized estimating equations were performed to examine fish oil supplementation in relation to QoL, recurrence, and all-cause mortality. An increase in fish oil supplementation over 24 mo postdiagnosis was associated with an increase in the physical component score of the 12-item Medical Outcomes Short Form (β = 2.43, 95% CI: 0.10-4.76). Supplementation showed no association with the Functional Assessment of Cancer-Colorectal, cancer recurrence or mortality across the 24-mo follow-up. This study suggests that fish oil supplementation may improve symptom-related QoL (i.e., physical functioning) in Stage 2 CRC patients following diagnosis. Future research should address the dose-dependent effects of this relationship.

    Be well!


  11. JP Says:

    Updated 1/28/16:


    Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2016 Jan 25.

    Raw garlic consumption and lung cancer in a Chinese population.

    BACKGROUND: Evidence of anti-cancer properties of garlic for different cancer sites has been reported previously in in-vitro and in-vivo experimental studies but there is limited epidemiological evidence on the association between garlic and lung cancer.

    METHODS: We examined the association between raw garlic consumption and lung cancer in a case-control study conducted between 2005 and 2007 in Taiyuan, China. Epidemiological data was collected by face-to-face interviews from 399 incident lung cancer cases and 466 healthy controls. We used unconditional logistic regression models to estimate crude and adjusted odds ratios (aOR) and their 95% confidence intervals (CI). Adjusted models controlled for age, sex, average annual household income 10 years ago, smoking, and indoor air pollution.

    RESULTS: Compared to no intake, raw garlic intake was associated with lower risk of development of lung cancer with a dose-response pattern (aOR for <2 times per week = 0.56, 95% CI: 0.39-0.81 and aOR for ≥2 times per week = 0.50, 95% CI: 0.34 - 0.74; Ptrend = 0.0002). Exploratory analysis showed an additive interaction of raw garlic consumption with indoor air pollution and with any supplement use in association with lung cancer.

    CONCLUSIONS: The results of the current study suggest that raw garlic consumption is associated with reduced risk of lung cancer in a Chinese population.

    IMPACT: This study contributes to the limited research in human population on the association between garlic and lung cancer and advocates further investigation into the use of garlic in chemoprevention of lung cancer.

    Be well!


  12. JP Says:

    Updated 05/16/16:


    PLoS One. 2016 May 9;11(5):e0155050.

    Anti-Tumor Effects of Ketogenic Diets in Mice: A Meta-Analysis.

    BACKGROUND: Currently ketogenic diets (KDs) are hyped as an anti-tumor intervention aimed at exploiting the metabolic abnormalities of cancer cells. However, while data in humans is sparse, translation of murine tumor models to the clinic is further hampered by small sample sizes, heterogeneous settings and mixed results concerning tumor growth retardation. The aim was therefore to synthesize the evidence for a growth inhibiting effect of KDs when used as a monotherapy in mice.

    METHODS: We conducted a Bayesian random effects meta-analysis on all studies assessing the survival (defined as the time to reach a pre-defined endpoint such as tumor volume) of mice on an unrestricted KD compared to a high carbohydrate standard diet (SD). For 12 studies meeting the inclusion criteria either a mean survival time ratio (MR) or hazard ratio (HR) between the KD and SD groups could be obtained. The posterior estimates for the MR and HR averaged over four priors on the between-study heterogeneity τ2 were MR = 0.85 (95% highest posterior density interval (HPDI) = [0.73, 0.97]) and HR = 0.55 (95% HPDI = [0.26, 0.87]), indicating a significant overall benefit of the KD in terms of prolonged mean survival times and reduced hazard rate. All studies that used a brain tumor model also chose a late starting point for the KD (at least one day after tumor initiation) which accounted for 26% of the heterogeneity. In this subgroup the KD was less effective (MR = 0.89, 95% HPDI = [0.76, 1.04]).

    CONCLUSIONS: There was an overall tumor growth delaying effect of unrestricted KDs in mice. Future experiments should aim at differentiating the effects of KD timing versus tumor location, since external evidence is currently consistent with an influence of both of these factors.

    Be well!


  13. JP Says:

    Updated 05/23/16:


    Clin J Oncol Nurs. 2016 Jun 1;20(3):E77-81.

    The Effects of Yoga, Massage, and Reiki on Patient Well-Being at a Cancer Resource Center.

    BACKGROUND: Cancer resource centers offer patients a variety of therapeutic services. However, patients with cancer and cancer healthcare practitioners may not fully understand the specific objectives and benefits of each service. This research offers guidance to cancer healthcare practitioners on how they can best direct patients to partake in specific integrative therapies, depending on their expressed needs.

    OBJECTIVES: This article investigates the effects of yoga, massage, and Reiki services administered in a cancer resource center on patients’ sense of personal well-being. The results show how program directors at a cancer resource center can customize therapies to meet the needs of patients’ well-being.

    METHODS: The experimental design measured whether engaging in yoga, massage, or Reiki services affects the self-perceived well-being of 150 patients at a cancer resource center at two times.

    FINDINGS: All three services helped decrease stress and anxiety, improve mood, and enhance cancer center patrons’ perceived overall health and quality of life in a similar manner. Reiki reduced the pain of patients with cancer to a greater extent than either massage or yoga.

    Be well!


  14. JP Says:

    Updated 06/26/16:


    PLoS One. 2016 Jun 24;11(6):e0156911.

    Guided Imagery And Progressive Muscle Relaxation as a Cluster of Symptoms Management Intervention in Patients Receiving Chemotherapy: A Randomized Control Trial.

    OBJECTIVE: Patients receiving chemotherapy often experience many different symptoms that can be difficult to alleviate and ultimately negatively influence their quality of life. Such symptoms include pain, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and retching, anxiety and depression. There is a gap in the relevant literature on the effectiveness of cognitive-behavioural and relaxation techniques in symptom clusters. The study reflects this gap in the literature and aimed to test the effectiveness of Guided Imagery (GI) and Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) on a cluster of symptoms experienced by patients undergoing chemotherapy.

    METHODS: This was a randomized control trial with 208 patients equally assigned either in the intervention or the control group. Measurements in both groups were collected at baseline and at completion of intervention (4 weeks). Patients were assessed for pain, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and retching, anxiety and depression. The overall management of the cluster was also assessed based on the patients’ self-reported health related quality of life-HRQoL. Chi-square tests (X2), independent T-tests and Linear Mixed Models were calculated.

    RESULTS: Patients in the intervention group experienced lower levels of Fatigue (p<0.0.0225), and Pain (p = 0.0003) compared to those in the control group and experienced better HRQoL (p<0.0001) [PRE-POST: Intervention: Pain 4.2(2.5) - 2.5(1.6), Fatigue 27.6(4.1) - 19.3(4.1), HRQoL 54.9(22.7) - 64.5(23), Control: Pain 3.5(1.7) - 4.8(1.5), Fatigue 28.7(4.1) - 32.5(3.8), HRQoL 51.9(22.3)- 41.2(24.1)]. Nausea, vomiting and retching occurred significantly less often in the intervention group [pre-post: 25.4(5.9)- 20.6(5.6) compared to the control group (17.8(6.5)- 22.7(5.3) (F = 58.50 p<0.0001). More patients in the control group (pre:n = 33-post:n = 47) were found to be moderately depressed compared to those in the intervention group (pre:n = 35-post:n = 15) (X2 = 5.93; p = 0.02).

    CONCLUSION: This study provided evidence that the combination of GI and PMR can be effective in the management of a cluster of symptoms in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. These techniques can complement existing management measures to achieve a comprehensive management of this symptom cluster and increase patients HRQoL.

    Be well!


  15. JP Says:

    Updated 06/26/16:


    Biomark Res. 2016 Jun 23;4:13.

    The effect of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on incidence and severity of oxaliplatin induced peripheral neuropathy: a randomized controlled trial.

    BACKGROUND: Oxaliplatin induced peripheral neurotoxicity (OXIPN) is the major dose-limiting and long-lasting side effect of oxaliplatin. N-3 PUFAs have neuroprotective property via their effects on voltage-gated ion channels and by reducing the production of proinflammatory cytokines that causes neuropathy. This study was a randomized double blind placebo controlled trial to find the possible advantages of n-3 PUFAs for preventing and reducing the severity of OXIPN in patients with colon cancer.

    METHODS: Eligible patients with colon cancer randomly allocated to take n-3 PUFAs pearls, 640 mg t.i.d during chemotherapy with oxaliplatin and one month after the cessation of the treatment or placebo. All patients were evaluated for incidence and severity of OXIPN based on “reduced Total Neuropathy Score” in which clinical and electrophysiological assessments were included.

    RESULTS: Seventeen patients (47 %) of the n-3 PUFA supplemented group (n = 36) did not develop PN while it was 11 %(4 patients) in the placebo group (n = 35). There was a significant difference in PN incidence (OR = 0.14, .95 % CI = (0.04 to 0.49), p = 0.002). The difference of OXIPN severity was significant between the two study groups (B = -1.61, 0.95 % CI = (-2.59 to -0.62), p = 0.001).

    CONCLUSIONS: N-3 PUFAs may have neuroprotective effect for reducing the incidence and severity of OXIPN. Finding an effective prophylactic or symptomatic therapy for OXIPN would significantly improve the patients’ quality of life.

    Be well!


  16. JP Says:

    Updated 06/26/16:


    Nutr Cancer. 2016 Jun 24:1-8.

    Fish Oil Supplementation Enhances Pulmonary Strength and Endurance in Women Undergoing Chemotherapy.

    We investigated the effect of fish oil (FO) supplementation, at 4 g/day, on the respiratory performance and blood lipid profile of 32 patients with breast cancer at the beginning of chemotherapy. They were randomized into two groups: control (C) and FO supplemented (S). Both groups underwent three respiratory evaluations and blood harvest (before chemotherapy-Day 0, and 30 and 60 days after supplementation). The S group showed a significant increase in the maximal inspiratory and expiratory pressure (P ≤ 0.05 vs. Day 0) and in the maximum voluntary ventilation (P ≤ 0.05). In the treadmill 6-min-walk test, the S group had a significant increase in the walked distance (P ≤ 0.05). Blood lactate concentration was significantly lower in the S group after 60 days, at rest, when compared to C (P ≤ 0.05). Plasma high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol concentration remained the same after 60 days of supplementation, while in the C group, it decreased significantly (P ≤ 0.05 Day 0 vs. Day 60). Triacylglycerol (TAG) plasma concentration in the S group was lower when compared to the C group (P ≤ 0.05 Day 60S vs. Day 60). Supplementation with FO caused improvement in the respiratory muscle strength and endurance, ameliorated functional performance, and kept TAG, HDL cholesterol, and lactate plasma concentration at normal levels.

    Be well!


  17. JP Says:

    Updated 07/22/16:


    Gynecol Oncol. 2016 Jul 15.

    Physical effects of Anma therapy (Japanese massage) for gynecologic cancer survivors: A randomized controlled trial.

    OBJECTIVES: Cancer survivors often have physical and psychological complaints after standard cancer treatment. We conducted a randomized control trial to evaluate the physical and psychological/emotional effects of Anma therapy (Japanese massage, AMT) in gynecologic cancer survivors. The primary objective was to verify the effects of 8 consecutive weeks of weekly AMT. The secondary objective was to confirm the immediate effects of single-session AMT. We report here results of the physical effects of AMT.

    METHODS: Forty participants were randomly allocated to an AMT group that received one 40-min AMT session per week for 8weeks and a no-AMT group. The primary endpoint was severity of subjective physical complaints assessed using a visual analogue scale (VAS). Secondary endpoints were urine and saliva analyses and psychological/emotional questionnaire scores.

    RESULTS: In the primary analysis, least-squares means (LSM) estimates of VAS score improvement over the 8weeks were -21.5 (95% confidence interval [CI], -30.1 to -12.8, P=0.0017) in the AMT group (n=20) and 0.8 (95%CI, -7.7 to 9.2, P=0.89) in the no-AMT group (n=20). The difference in the LSM estimates between the groups was -22.2 (95%CI, -34.4 to -10.1, P=0.0007). There were significant differences in VAS score and urinary epinephrine between before and after the intervention session, demonstrating the superiority of AMT.

    CONCLUSIONS: A single AMT session reduces the severity of subjective physical complaints and might inhibit the sympathetic nervous system in gynecologic cancer survivors. Receiving weekly AMT sessions for eight weeks effectively continues to reduce the severity of subjective physical complaints.

    Be well!


  18. JP Says:

    Updated 08/24/16:


    Altern Ther Health Med. 2016 Jul;22(4):36-42.

    Improvement of QOL and Immunological Function With Lentinula Edodes Mycelia in Patients Undergoing Cancer Immunotherapy: An Open Pilot Study.

    Context • Combined treatment with an extract of Lentinula edodes mycelia (LEM) and chemotherapy has been reported to improve quality of life (QOL) and immunological function in cancer patients. However, those effects have not been elucidated for patients receiving cancer immunotherapy. Objective • The present study intended to investigate the effects of oral LEM on QOL and immunological function in cancer patients receiving immunotherapy. Design • The research team designed an open-label, single-armed pilot study. Setting • The study took place at Bio-Thera Clinic, a facility associated with Tokyo Women’s Medical University in Tokyo, Japan. Participants • The participants were 10 cancer patients undergoing cancer immunotherapy at Bio-Thera Clinic. Intervention • The participants received either dendritic cell (DC)-based cancer vaccine therapy or CD3-activated T-lymphocyte (CAT) therapy as immunotherapy. They received the immunotherapy only for the first 4 wk of the study, and then oral LEM (1800 mg/d) was added for the next 4 wk. Outcome Measures • Preintervention and at 4 and 8 wk after the start of the study, participants completed a QOL survey, and immunological parameters were measured. Results • Participants’ QOL symptom scores increased (ie, worsened) by 5.1 ± 1.7 during the first 4 wk of treatment when they were receiving immunotherapy only, but it decreased (ie, improved) by -2.5 ± 1.6 during the next 4 wk when the immunotherapy was combined with the LEM, P < .05. The measurement of the immunological parameters during the 4 wk of immunotherapy combined with LEM showed that the amount of interferon-γ (IFN-γ) produced in the peripheral blood tended to increase as compared with that during the first 4 wk of immunotherapy only. The rise in IFN-γ was correlated with changes in several regulatory T cells (Tregs) (ie, forkhead box P3 [FOXP3]+/cluster of differentiation 4 [CD4]+ and transforming growth factor beta [TGF-β]). Conclusions • The findings suggest that a combined treatment of LEM and immunotherapy might improve QOL and immunological function in cancer patients. Be well! JP

  19. JP Says:

    Updated 01/08/19:


    Melanoma Res. 2019 Jan 5.

    Inositol hexaphosphate plus inositol induced complete remission in stage IV melanoma: a case report.

    Inositol hexaphosphate (IP6) also called phytic acid is a polyphosphorylated carbohydrate naturally found in cereals, nuts, grains, and high-fiber-containing foods. It has been shown to inhibit the growth of many different tumor cell lines both in vitro and in vivo like colon, pancreas, liver, prostate, and even melanoma. Vitamin B inositol is a precursor of IP6 and another naturally occurring compound with anticancer properties. We present a case report of a patient with metastatic melanoma who declined traditional therapy and opted to try over the counter supplement IP6+inositol instead. To our surprise, the patient achieved a complete remission and remains in remission 3 years later. On the basis of this case and previous preclinical studies, we believe further research is indicated in exploring antiproliferative and potential immune stimulating effects of IP6+inositol in patients with metastatic melanoma.

    Be well!


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