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Fancy

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Angel
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Source: Dr. Ralph Moss, The Moss Reports

http://www.cancerdecisions.com
red accents are mine

NEW STUDY CLARIFIES ROLE OF ANTIOXIDANTS DURING RADIATION TREATMENT

An important paper on the interaction of antioxidants and radiation therapy was recently published in the International Journal of Cancer. Interestingly, despite the significance of its findings, this study has received virtually zero attention from the scientific community or the media.

As background, in April 2005, Isabelle Bairati, MD, PhD, and her colleagues at the Hôtel-Dieu de Québec Research Centre and the Université Laval completed a ten-year study on the interaction of antioxidants and radiation therapy. This was hailed as the first placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized trial assessing the effect of supplementation with antioxidant vitamins during radiation therapy. The study concluded that supplements of synthetic beta-carotene (30 mg per day) or alpha tocopherol (400 IU per day) had a harmful effect on cancer patients. In particular, the authors claimed that the cancer recurrence rate was 40 percent higher among patients who had been randomly assigned to the supplementation arm of the trial. They therefore called on patients and physicians to exert caution in using antioxidants until new evidence could be provided by future trials.

Kedar Prasad, PhD, and other proponents of the concurrent use of antioxidants during cancer treatment criticized the Bairati paper. They were disappointed that Bairati and colleagues had used ordinary alpha tocopherol as their choice of vitamin E when Prasad's previous work had shown that it was not just alpha tocopherol but alpha tocopherol succinate that had the anticancer efficacy. They also felt that natural forms of the vitamin were more effective than synthetic, drug store-type vitamins. But, by and large, the medical world accepted the Bairati trial as definitive proof that antioxidants interfered with radiation therapy. Word spread like wildfire in oncology circles, confirming a long-held belief that antioxidants interfered with standard cancer treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy. The take away message, as stated in a Université Laval press release, was that "Supplements May Speed Up Development of Cancer." Advocates of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) were confounded by this large and impressive study.

But now the other shoe has dropped.

In December 2007, Dr. Bairati and her Québec colleagues published a major modification of their previous conclusions. Further analysis revealed, they said, that the danger of synthetic antioxidants was limited to one particular sub-population: cigarette smokers - specifically, those who continued to smoke during radiation treatment. The authors analyzed the outcome in 540 patients who had been given radiation for head and neck cancers. During the follow-up period, 119 patients had a recurrence of their disease and 179 died. Smokers were the group with the worst prognosis. However, astonishingly, smoking in the period leading up to or following radiation therapy did not modify the effects of the two supplements. It was only smoking during the course of radiation therapy that led to a statistically significant increase in the risk of a recurrence. It was a large enough increase to skew the statistics for the group as a whole, leading to the erroneous conclusion that antioxidants interfered with radiotherapy in the general patient population.

Statistically, increased risk is generally expressed as a "hazard ratio" (abbreviated HR). In this study, current smokers had an HR of 2.41 for recurrence, in other words more than double the chance of a recurrence compared to the rest of the patient population. The HR for death from any cause was a similar 2.26. But the hazard ratio for dying of their initial head and neck cancer was a whopping 3.38 in patients who got radiation, smoked and also received a single synthetic antioxidant.

"These results could best be explained by the hypothesis that the combined exposures reduced the efficacy of radiation therapy," Bairati and her colleagues now say. "Particular attention should be devoted to prevent patients from both smoking and taking antioxidant supplements during radiation therapy" (Meyer 2007).

According to the National Cancer Institute, 85 percent of head and neck cancers are linked to tobacco use. (Alcohol use further exacerbates this trend.) This has been widely known for years, and so it is shocking that there are still people so hopelessly addicted to tobacco that they not only continue to smoke after they've been diagnosed with head and neck cancer but continue to smoke right through their radiation therapy. It was in this subset of particularly unhealthy individuals that antioxidants were associated with an increased risk of disease progression. As Bairati and colleagues suggest, such individuals should definitely not compound their problems by then taking a synthetic antioxidant.

But the more important lesson for patients and practitioners is that antioxidants do NOT generally interfere with the effects of radiation therapy, as was previously suggested. They do NOT increase the risk of a recurrence, of death from head and neck cancer, or of overall mortality in the average patient. In this updated study, the harmful effect of synthetic antioxidants was entirely limited to those relatively few tobacco-addicted patients who continued to smoke during their radiation therapy. Thus, the major premise underpinning oncologists' condemnation of antioxidants during radiation therapy has crumbled, although few seem to have noticed so far.


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nosurrender

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Reply with quote  #2 
Fancy,
Thank you for posting this.
My onc has ordered me to take NO supplements during rads. not even green tea!


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Fancy

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Angel
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Reply with quote  #3 
Maybe you could print this out and give it to him to read?  Doctors have a hard time keeping up on all the new research.  Of course, not all of them can handle an intelligent patient.  My husband's oncologist was FURIOUS with me for suggesting an amendment in his treatment--especially since I was RIGHT! 

I ordered Dr. Moss's report on antioxidents two years ago.  It was excellent--well reasoned, well-researched, NOT preachy.  Now he's offering two anti-oxident reports for the price of one. 

If I were doing rads or chemo, I'd get them in a heartbeat!


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nosurrender

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Reply with quote  #4 
My onc won't listen... believe me.
I am getting such confusing messages from him now. He seems to be a bit muddled lately. Especially since I spoke to my former, beloved onc and asked for another opinion.

I took the mega Vitamin D last night, 50,000 ius. Did a number on my intestines... but then again if the wind changes shift my intestines get upset!


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Fancy

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Angel
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Reply with quote  #5 
ummm, I think 50,000iu is a bit much.  Are you SURE it wasn't 5,000?

In any case, start off easy with this stuff.  Don't hammer your poor tum with everything all at once.


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Cherlilly

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Reply with quote  #6 
I tell you it is so interesting the different things each oncologist has to say!  My oncologist said NO to any antioxidants and wants me taking nothing but a mulitvitamin until I am out of radiation.  NOTHING.  No deodorant either.

I am just going along with what he says but after radiation there are alot of vitamins I want to take and can't wait to wear deodorant on that side again!  LOL!

CHeryl

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Fancy

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Angel
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Reply with quote  #7 
Well, there area LOT of things you can take now that don't qualify as anti-oxidents (which is what he's concerned about) that have anti-tumor properties. 

*Omega 3 oils---3g/day
Digestive enzymes---520mg/3xday with food
*Melatonin---20mg/day
*Green Tea Extract---5,000mg/day (needs 50% EGCG content
*Selenium---200mcg/day    methylselenocysteine
*Co-Enzyme Q10---100mg/3xday   (take with oil)
Calcium/magnesium, etc---1500mg/750mg/day

I hate to say it, but I took a lot of this stuff when I had chemo and didn't ask the doctor.   My rads oncologist was from France, and they're much more aware there than they are in this country.  He had no trouble with vitamin C and cal/mag.


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Fancy

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
I took the mega Vitamin D last night, 50,000 ius. Did a number on my intestines... but then again if the wind changes shift my intestines get upset!


Do  you take digestive enzymes?  They're inexpensive, and they help your intestinal tract stay healthy.  Or, Activa (or any other unpasturized yogurt) will do the same job if you like yogurt.  Just make sure it is truly un-pasturized.

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Reply with quote  #9 
That activa really works??
I will go buy some.
THANKS FANCY!!!


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Fancy

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Angel
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Reply with quote  #10 
So, how are you and the yoghurt doing?

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MsBliss

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Reply with quote  #11 
Thanks for posting the about the disconnect with anti-ox and the studies during chemo and rads.  It is amazing how a misstep can become the rule. 

Anyway, did you post that you did no chemo? 

Also, have you heard of Modified Citrus Pectin for mets?
nosurrender

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Reply with quote  #12 
Ms. Bliss,
I am sorry to say, we lost our dear Fancy at Christmas time.
It wasn't the cancer, it was her liver.
She was an amazing advocate for all of us and had her finger on the pulse of every new tx out there.
I am sorry to have to tell you the sad news. I wish you could have known her. She was a fiery, spunky, dear and funny sister.

Love
g


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MsBliss

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Reply with quote  #13 
Dear Gina,

Thank you for responding to my post.

I am new so I am sorry to hear this news.  I have been reading Fancy's posts and they are enlightening.

It appears that Fancy had a stage one lobular and then a few years later she was stage 4?  Do you know if she had chemo and what kind? 



Quote:
Originally Posted by nosurrender
Ms. Bliss,
I am sorry to say, we lost our dear Fancy at Christmas time.
It wasn't the cancer, it was her liver.
She was an amazing advocate for all of us and had her finger on the pulse of every new tx out there.
I am sorry to have to tell you the sad news. I wish you could have known her. She was a fiery, spunky, dear and funny sister.

Love
g

nosurrender

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Reply with quote  #14 
Fancy had breast cancer the first time years ago. I can't remember, but it was a long time. She chose not to do chemo.
Then, it returned as lobular and she did hormonal therapy.
When it came back as stage 4 she hit it hard with chemo.
Unfortunately, her liver was weak and could not handle the meds.
I am trying to remember her exact protocol, but I know she chose complimentary treatment over chemo before she was stage 4.
I am sorry I had to break the sad news to you.
Love
g


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MsBliss

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Reply with quote  #15 
This is a very sad story.  I was impressed with Fancy's posts and her humor.  I have triple neg, with medullary features, no lymphvascular invasion and neg nodes.  I do not want to do chemo.  I am desperate to avoid it because of a secondary health problem.  When I hear about a sister who chose not to do chemo and we lose her I panic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nosurrender
Fancy had breast cancer the first time years ago. I can't remember, but it was a long time. She chose not to do chemo.
Then, it returned as lobular and she did hormonal therapy.
When it came back as stage 4 she hit it hard with chemo.
Unfortunately, her liver was weak and could not handle the meds.
I am trying to remember her exact protocol, but I know she chose complimentary treatment over chemo before she was stage 4.
I am sorry I had to break the sad news to you.
Love
g

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