Patient Track-abstract (presented at conferences)

The Patient Track A.E. Fonfa, The Annie Appleseed Project, NY, NY 10016

Studies have consistently shown that patients (up to 80% )use natural substances along with their conventional therapies. While clinical trials are occasionally being done in this area for prevention, we have yet to see any large scale trials using vitamins/supplements along with chemotherapy and radiation.

Yet such a trial would answer immediate questions for patients. Current trials might be amended to ask the questions: Is there a difference in quality of life with natural substances? Is conventional therapy enhanced? Or negatively affected? It is likely that some patients are using vitamins/supplements now within trials, let’s ask them to “fess” up at the end. If this group fared better, other studies could then be designed. Recent reviews of the many studies on antioxidants appear to show that more favor possible benefits for cancer patients.

Let’s find out for sure. Often, in discussions with healthcare providers, patients gain nothing more than repeated statements on lack of information. This information is needed NOW. If you are a practitioner, your patients may be among those currently using complementary/alternative therapies.

We need to devise ways to open this dialogue more fully. On the website we designed to help patients better understand these options(, it states: “If you expect these substances to work, you MUST discuss usage with your healthcare provider”. Relevant studies are posted to help both patients and provider understand options in complementary/ alternative therapies. AACR researchers have shown that green tea is efficacious, yet no patient uses ONLY green tea. We/they use many modalities. These must now be studied in humans.

The Patient Track calls for trials using combinations of such substances in the way that patients actually use them. A regimen might include antioxidants, green tea, flaxseed oil (lignans, Omega 3), CoQ10, garlic and fruits/vegetables. We need to devise trials that will be inclusive of these so that we can answer patient questions soonest. Researchers need to start looking at the effects of combinations, NOT elements.

This abstract writer, a breast cancer patient, asks you to join in a call for studies of complementary, natural substances(especially in combination), starting immediately. Patients don’t want to waste their precious time on inappropriate programs. We NEED TO KNOW NOW.

References: 1)Prasad KN, Cole W, Hoveland P: Cancer prevention studies: Past, present and future. Nutrition 14: 197-210, 1998 2)Yoshida SH, Keen CL, Ansari AA & Gershwin ME.: Nutrition and the immune system. Modern Nutn Health & Disease, 9th ed. ’99 pp.725-750. 3)Nutrition Oncology, Heber D, Blackburn GL, Go VLW. ’99 4)Prasad K., Kuma A, Kochupillai M and Cole W.: High doses of multiple antioxidants vitamins. Essential ingredients in improving the efficacy of standard cancer therapy. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 18 (1999) 13-25. 5)Chinery R, Brockman J.A., Peeler, M.O., Shyr Y, Beauchamp D. , Coffey, R.J.:Antioxidants enhance the cytotoxicity of chemotherapeutic agents in colorectal cancer: A p53-independent induction of p21waf/cipi via V/ERP(. 6)Nature Medicine. 3 (1997) 1233-1241 Seifter E, Rettura A, Padawar J, Levenson S: Vitamin A and (-carotene as adjunctive therapy to tumor excision, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. 7)K. Prasad (ed) Vitamins, nutrition and cancer, pp 1-19 Basel: Karger, 1984 8)Prasad KN, Sinha PK, Ramanujarn M, Samamoto A: Sodium ascorbate potentiates the growth inhibitory effects of certain agents on neuroblastoma cells in culture. Proc. Natl Acad Sci USA 76: 829-832, 1979 9)Prasad KN: Modulation of the effect of tumor therapeutic agents by vitamin C. Life Sci 27:275-280, 1980 10)Sporn MB, Roberts AB: Role of retinoids in differentiation and carcinogenesis. Cancer Res 43:3034-3040, 1983 11)Rutz HP, Little JB: Modification of radiosensitivity and recover from x-ray damage in vitro, by retinoic acid. Internat J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 16:1285-1288, 1981 12)Van Vleet JF, Greenwood L, Ferands VJ, Rebar AH: Effect of selenium-vitamin E on adriamycin-induced cardiomyopathy in rabbits. Am J Vitamins Res 39:997-1010, 1978 AND MANY MORE STUDIES

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