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Patients Against Lymphoma

 

CAM & Life Style > A - E 

Last Update: 03/31/2014

TOPICS
Acid/Alkaline Diet | Acupuncture | Allergens & infections Alpha-lipoic acid | Antioxidants | Arginine | Astragalus | Beta-carotene |Beta glucans | CAAT? | CoQ10 | Copper | DCA? | Detoxifying? | Diindolylmethane

To avoid potential adverse interactions, be sure to let your health care provider know 
if you use any type of complementary therapy.

Acid/Alkaline Diet?

Topic moved here.

Acupuncture

Questions and related abstracts
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Acupuncture is the insertion of very fine needles, (sometimes in conjunction with electrical stimulus), on the body's surface, in order to influence physiological functioning of the body - acupuncture.com

TOPIC SEARCH: PubMed  

In the News:

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J Altern Complement Med. 2008 - The Status and Future of Acupuncture Clinical Research
Abstracts and Resources: 
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Recommended:  Acupuncture to relieve side effects of chemotherapy - alleghanyregionalemonstration 
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Push and Poke - Acupuncture for relief of chemotherapy side effects? - Healthology 
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Acupuncture in Demand By Cancer Patients - cancerwise.org 
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Effect of Acupuncture Compared with Placebo-Acupuncture at P6 as Additional Antiemetic Prophylaxis in High-Dose Chemotherapy and Autologous Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplantation  ~ A Randomized Controlled Single-Blind Trial 
 - full text clincancerres.aacrjournals.org 
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Acupuncture for pilocarpine-resistant xerostomia following radiotherapy for head and neck malignancies. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2001 Jun 1;50(2):353-7.. NOTE: Xerostomia is a frequent and potentially debilitating toxicity of radiotherapy
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Electroacupuncture for control of myeloablative chemotherapy-induced emesis: A randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2000 Dec 6;284(21):2755-61. NOTE: Emesis is vomiting.
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Acupuncture for management of pain.
Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract. 2000 Jul;30(4):875-84, viii. Review.
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Effects of acupuncture on immune response related to opioid-like peptides.
J Tradit Chin Med. 1998 Mar;18(1):55-63.

Allergens & chronic infections

Questions and 
related abstracts
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Allergens are substances (pollen, bacteria, fungus, proteins) that can cause the immune system to react.  Some malignant lymphocytes, such as follicular lymphoma cells, may be allergen-driven.  

TOPIC SEARCH: PubMed  

Questions:
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Can chronic allergic conditions or infections contribute to causing lymphoma, or affect immune profile (Th1/Th2)? 

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Can an individual's immune profile influence one's ability to benefit from immunotherapies? 

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Do allergens and allergies promote lymphoma growth, or limit the ability of the immune system to inhibit disease progression?

Related text:

"There is some sort of chronic stimulation of the immune system, either a bacteria or a virus or an allergen or a chemical," says Schuster. "In the process of being activated for a long period of time [the immune system], it increases the chances there will be an erroneous distribution of genes that undergo malignant transformation." These malignant changes produce non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Source: click here (free login req.)

Alpha-lipoic acid?

Questions and 
related abstracts
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... "an antioxidant found in certain foods, including red meat, spinach, broccoli, potatoes, yams, carrots, beets, and yeast. It is also made in small amounts in the human body."

WARNING: "Because it is a powerful antioxidant, there are concerns that lipoic acid could make radiation therapy or chemotherapy less effective. While this concern is based largely on theories of how cancer treatments work, it is supported by some recent studies. For this reason, people being treated for cancer should speak with their doctors before taking this supplement."  cancer.org

So far there is no evidence from controlled clinical trials to show therapeutic or protective effects of alpha-lipoic acid.  Clinical studies of sufficient size are required to determine the risks and potential benefits of any intervention, particularly when the effects are modest or small.

 

Resources and reports:
bullet About Alpha-lipoic acid cancer.org

Antineoplaston therapy?

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Occasionally we receive questions about the potential merits of this therapy.  Antineoplaston studies for lymphoma have been ongoing for approximately ten years, but still the investigator has not published outcome data. Therefore, we think that Dr. Burzynski ought to publish his data, or stop offering the treatment - which we know to be very expensive for the patient (as much as $100,000 per year); and

The Antineoplaston Anomaly: How A Drug Was Used For Decades In Thousands Of Patients, With No Safety, Efficacy Data

(The Cancer Letter, Vol. 24, No. 36, Sept. 25, 1998. Copyright 1998, The Cancer Letter Inc. All rights reserved.)  http://www.cancerletter.com/vol24n36.html 

Burzynski Clinic in Science-blogger's crosshairs:
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Free Thought Blogs: A look at the Burzynski clinic’s publications
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In the Pipeline: The Burzynski Cancer Treatment
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Respectful Insolence: Burzynski The Movie:
Is Stanislaw Burzynski a pioneering cancer researcher or a quack?
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Cancer Research UK: Hope or false hope? (Article on Burzynski Clinic)
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Skeptical Health - Combating quackery with science: Antineoplastons


Antioxidants

Questions and related abstracts
Natural sources:  a variety of fruits and vegetables
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The use of antioxidants during chemotherapy and radiation treatment is controversial.  

TOPIC SEARCH: PubMed Antioxidants with chemotherapy?  

NOTE: Some recent studies suggest that antioxidants may enhance chemotherapy; that oxidative stress can interfere with chemotherapy induced apoptosis.  Importantly, high doses of one antioxidant, vitamin C, results in oxidative effects  (opposite of antioxidant).  This adds to the complexity and confusion for both patients and physicians. 

Questions:
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Can use of antioxidants enhance apoptosis (programmed cell death) mechanism of standard treatments? 

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If the use of antioxidants in not recommended during chemotherapy, should patients avoid eating fruits and vegetables?

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Is there any solid data that patients can use as a guide in the controversy of taking antioxidants during chemotherapy or radiation? 

Abstracts & resources:
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Too many vitamin tablets could be bad for your health http://bit.ly/aeM43O

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Dietary antioxidants during cancer chemotherapy: impact on chemotherapeutic effectiveness and development of side effects.
Nutr Cancer. 2000;37(1):1-18. Review. PMID: 10965514
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The use of antioxidant therapies during chemotherapy.
Gynecol Oncol. 2003 Mar;88(3):434-9. PMID: 12648599 - PubMed
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Neuroprotective effect of vitamin e supplementation in patients treated with Cisplatin chemotherapy. J Clin Oncol. 2003 Mar 1;21(5):927-31. PMID: 12610195 - PubMed
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Induction of apoptosis by chemotherapeutic drugs without generation of reactive oxygen species. Arch Biochem Biophys. 2002 Jan 15;397(2):262-72. PMID: 11795881
 - PubMed
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Oxidative stress interferes with cancer chemotherapy: inhibition of lymphoma cell apoptosis and phagocytosis. Blood. 2000 Jul 1;96(1):307-13. PMID: 1089146 - PubMed
"If oxidants have the same effect on drug-induced apoptosis in vivo as they do in vitro, then the overall effectiveness of chemotherapy might be improved by coadministering antioxidants with the chemotherapeutic agents." - Quote from full text of cited study.
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Coq10 Summary Report - UTCAM
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The effect of selenium and/or vitamin E treatments on radiation-induced intestinal injury in rats. -  Life Sci 2000 Apr 7;66 
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Worrisome supplements - Fred Hutchinson CRC

Arginine
(L-arginine)

Questions and related abstracts
Natural sources:  brown rice, nuts, popcorn, raisins, and whole-wheat products

Background:

Supplementwatch
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Arginine is an amino acid, which is thought to support thymus function.  

TOPIC SEARCH: PubMed  

See Alerts
Questions:
  • Should arginine supplementation be avoided?

  • Is arginine beneficial during immunotherapies and/or chemotherapy?

Abstracts:
  • The effect of amino acids and amino acid derivatives on cell proliferation.
    Acta Biomed Ateneo Parmense. 1993;64(5-6):139-45. PMID: 7992551 - PubMed
  • Effect of fish oil, arginine, and doxorubicin chemotherapy on remission and survival time for dogs with lymphoma: a double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled study. Cancer. 2000 Apr 15;88(8):1916-28.  - PubMed
  • Alert: L-arginine inhibits apoptosis via a NO-dependent mechanism in Nb2 lymphoma cells J Cell Biochem 2000 Apr;77(4):624-34

Astragalus

Questions and related abstracts
Natural sources:  brown rice, nuts, popcorn, raisins, and whole-wheat products
Background: HerbMed.org
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Nothing specific to lymphoma

Beta-carotene

Questions and related abstracts
Natural sources: Dark green and orange-yellow vegetables

Background:

Supplementwatch
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Beta-carotene is a compound from plants that the body can convert into vitamin A.

TOPIC SEARCH: PubMed  

Questions:
  • Can supplementing with Beta-carotene potentially slow progression of some lymphomas?

  • Can it influence response to treatment?

Abstracts: 
  • Role of beta-carotene on the changes in activity patterns and levels of biotransforming enzymes in transplantable murine (mouse) lymphoma. Cancer Lett. 1995 Apr 14; 90(2): 191-7. PMID: 7736455 | Related articles
  • Beta-carotene enhances natural killer cell activity in athymic mice.
    In Vivo. 1997 Jan-Feb; 11(1): 87-91. PMID: 9067776 | Related articles

Beta-Glucan

Recommended resource:
The Natural Pharmacist
Questions and related abstracts
Natural sources: various bacterial, mushroom, yeast, and cereal sources 

Background:

Supplementwatch
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Beta glucans (β1,3-glucans)  such as from Reishi mushroom

TOPIC SEARCH: PubMed  

While there is preclinical interest and study in this natural product, we are not aware of any clinical study showing it can be beneficial for specific cancers during treatment (as of July 2010). At present there are no active studies for "Ganoderma lucidum" (Reishi mushroom) and lymphoma in the ClinicalTrials.gov registry.

One issue is the lack of study on purified compounds as described in a review paper:

Copying: "Careful selection of appropriate β-glucans is essential if we wish to investigate the effects of β-glucans clinically. So far, no good quality clinical trial data is available on assessing the effectiveness of purified β-glucans among cancer patients. Future effort should direct at performing well-designed clinical trials to verify the actual clinical efficacy of β-glucans or β-glucans containing compounds."

Source: The effects of β-glucan on human immune and cancer cells
Chan, et al.  J Hematol Oncol. 2009; 2: 25.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Since Reishi mushroom is a commercially available product, be aware that the potential of this product is often hyped on the Internet ... particularly by groups that sell supplement - or well-meaning people hoping that natural products will provide some kind of magical advantage over modern medicine.

Finally, there is no more potent stimulant of the immune system (the granulocytes component) than g-csf (neupogen) to keep you on schedule and reduce the risk of infection.

About Glucans: "Glucans are polysaccharides made up of chains of glucose molecules. The term "beta" refers to the steric position of the glucose hydroxyl group involved in the chain formation. The terms beta-1,3- and beta-1,6-glucans are often used; the numerals refer to the positions on the glucose molecules that link them together. Beta-glucans are components of plant cell walls, including bacteria and fungi as well as higher plants, and are found in relatively large amounts in oats, yeast and mushrooms." [1] ... nnfa.org  

Questions:
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Are immune stimulants safe for patients with lymphomas?

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Can they be useful as adjutants to treatments?

Abstracts: 
  1. Beta Glucans - Scientific Backgrounder - nnfa.org
  2. Mushroom glucans and proteoglycans in cancer treatment - PubMed abstracts
  3. Beta Glucan, Complement, and Rituxan - clltopics.org
  4. Orally administered beta-glucans enhance anti-tumor effects of monoclonal antibodies.
    Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2002 Nov;51(10):557-64. Epub 2002 Sep 20. PMID: 12384807
Caveat?  There is a theoretical concern about using non-specific
immune stimulants when you have lymphoma - a cancer of 
lymphocytes (immune cells).  See related and specific articles that 
come to different conclusions: Related articles
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Immunostimulant oxidized beta-glucan conjugates.
Int Immunopharmacol.  2001 Mar;1(3):539-50. PMID: 11367537 
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Stimulation of humoral and cell mediated immunity by polysaccharide 
from mushroom Phellinus linteus. Int J Immunopharmacol. 
1996 May;18(5):295-303. PMID: 8933208
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Complement function in mAb-mediated cancer immunotherapy - biopolymer.com PDF  
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The effect of molecular weight and beta-1,6-linkages on priming of macrophage function in mice by (1,3)-beta-D-glucan. Immunol Cell Biol. 1999 Oct;77(5):395-403. PMID: 10540205
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Phase I Study of Beta-Glucan and Rituximab in Children and 
Adolescents with Relapsed CD20-Positive Lymphoma or Leukemia 
or Post-Transplant Lymphoproliferative Disease - MSKCC
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Can maitake MD-fraction aid cancer patients?
Altern Med Rev. 2002 Jun;7(3):236-9. Review. PMID: 12126464
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Effect of Maitake (Grifola frondosa) D-Fraction on the Control of the T Lymph Node Th-1/Th-2 Proportion Atsuyuki Inoue1), Noriko Kodama1) and Hiroaki Nanba1) 1) Department of Microbial Chemistry, Kobe Pharmaceutical University  - abstract | full PDF

CAAT?
(Amino Acid Deprivation)

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CAAT the promotion:  "utilizes the chemical reactions and interactions between amino acids, foods and phytochemical supplements to alter or impair the development of cancer cells."  http://www.apjci.com

TOPIC SEARCH: PubMed  

COMMENTS: 

While no studies have been undertaken (as of 10/08) to determine whether CAAT has any effect on cancer in humans, they write:

"CAAT has benefited patients across the U.S., Canada, Europe, South America, even in such faraway lands as New Zealand and India. Our hope is that CAAT can help you too."  http://www.apjohncancerinstitute.org/treatment-2.htm

What is meant by benefited? ... The inference is the formula and diet provides clinical benefit, which has a special meaning in clinical science and is very difficult to prove even with carefully controlled studies.  No reputable scientist would make such a statement ahead of clinical studies, so there's a credibility problem here.

In the NHL section they write:  "Clinical trials have already been done with humans using amino acid depravation formulas, and with much success. (Journal American Medical Association. 1967; 200:211)"

"Much success" is not informative.  For what condition?  For how long?  Did the patients live longer?  Please note the date, 1967, and that the study cannot be located on PubMed.

There are other red flags in the website for CAAT.  The untested formula and diet is promoted for ALL cancer types, and statements of fact are not supported by published studies (or marginally so as above) .... the preclinical science that might support the concept are based on cell culture experiments, which are poor models of treatment or  side effects in the human body.  

Bottom line: without clinical studies not even the practitioners know if the effects are positive, negative, or neutral when given to cancer patients.  

Regarding risks of CAAT, we are not qualified to predict, but worry that true deprivation of essential amino acids might impact on health and recovery from treatment. For example, a diet with sufficient protein is frequently recommended during chemotherapy treatment and that amino acids are the components of protein.  See for example: chemocare.com

Before adopting CAAT  you might also consult with a dietician regarding the risks of  amino acid deprivation if still considering this alternative practice.

We do not recommend trying this or any theory-based intervention outside of a clinical trial.  If the theory has merit (looks promising in animal studies for example), the authors could go to NIH and propose a pilot study, or raise capital to do one independently.  Taking the shortcut of just marketing a theory of medicine is unethical, and probably illegal too.

Related Topics:

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Caveats of Supplements As Treatment Modality 

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Open-source background on amino acids: wikipedia.org/

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Red flags and Free Speech

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What's a Drug  

Chamomile
(Kamillosan oral rinse)

Recommended resource:
The Natural Pharmacist
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Chamomile is an herb extracted from the flower of the plant. Chamomile is widely used in teas for its relaxing effect. 

TOPIC SEARCH: PubMed  

Questions:
bullet Is Chamomile useful and safe for treating or relieving symptoms of mucositis?
Related Abstracts:
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Management of oral mucositis during local radiation and systemic chemotherapy: a study of 98 patients. J Prosthet Dent. 1991 Sep;66(3):361-9. PMID: 1800734 - PubMed | Related abstracts
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Prospective evaluation of a chamomile mouthwash for prevention of 5-FU-induced oral mucositis. Cancer. 1996 Feb 1;77(3):522-5. PMID: 8630960 - PubMed 
Prescription alternative to Kamillosan
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Chlorhexidine prophylaxis for chemotherapy- and radiotherapy-induced stomatitis: a randomized double-blind trial. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol. 1990 Mar;69(3):331-8. PMID: 2179802 - PubMed

CoQ10

Questions and related abstracts
Natural sources: 
primarily fish and meat
Recommended resource:
The Natural Pharmacist
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Co-enzyme Q10, or ubiquinone, is a nutrient produced in small amounts by the body and also obtained from food. It plays a key role in helping the body convert food into energy.

TOPIC SEARCH: PubMed  

Drug Interaction Search: PubMed

Questions:
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Can use of CoQ10 protect patients from cardiac damage during chemotherapy?  

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Does CoQ10 have anticancer properties specific to lymphomas?

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Can CoQ10 modulate immunity in ways that might complement treatment? 

Related Abstracts:
bullet
Patient PDQ - cancer.gov
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CoQ10: could it have a role in cancer management? Biofactors. 1999;9(2-4):365-70
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Plasma coenzyme Q(10) in children and adolescents undergoing doxorubicin therapy.
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Protective effect of coenzyme Q10 on anthracyclines cardiotoxicity: control study in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Mol Aspects Med. 1994;15 Suppl:s207-12

Copper

Questions and related abstracts
Natural sources: oysters. nuts, legumes, cereals, potatoes, vegetables, and meat
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Copper is an essential trace mineral. Some published studies indicate that copper levels rise and Zinc falls as NHL progresses. 

CAUTION: See possible Caveats of Low Copper

TOPIC SEARCH: PubMed  

Low copper? "11 men on a low-copper diet (0.66 mg copper/day for 24 days and 0.38 mg/day for another 40 days) showed a decreased proliferation response when white blood cells called mononuclear cells isolated from their blood were presented with an immune challenge in cell culture (25). While severe copper deficiency has adverse effects on immune function, the effects of marginal copper insufficiency in humans are not yet clear." - lpi.oregonstate.edu

Questions:
bullet

Can high serum copper levels - known to increase with the progression of NHL -- make it unsafe to supplement with vitamin C, especially when exposed to radiation?

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Can reducing copper to low levels safely and effectively inhibit angiogenesis (blood vessels that feed tumors)?

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Should patients be concerned about the dietary intake of copper?

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CAUTION: Might low copper levels interfere with normal blood cell formation?

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Should physicians monitor zinc/copper levels and encourage supplementing with Zinc when copper is above normal?

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Might low zinc levels, associated with NHL progression, inhibit activity of immune therapies? 

Related resources and abstracts:
bullet
Recommended resource on copper - Linus Pauling Institute - lpi.oregonstate.edu
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Cu deficiency and myelodysplastic syndrome - Related abstracts
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CAUTION: Copper deficiency reduces interleukin-2 (IL-2) production and IL-2 mRNA in human T-lymphocytes. J Nutr. 1997 Feb;127(2):257-62. PMID: 9039825 - PubMed
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Roles of vitamin C in radiation-induced DNA damage in presence and absence of copper. Chem Biol Interact. 2001 Jul 31;137(1):75-88. PMID: 11518565  - PubMed
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Cellular copper content modulates differentiation and self-renewal in cultures of cord blood-derived CD34+ cells. Br J Haematol. 2002 Mar;116(3):655-61. PMID: 11849228 PubMed
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Serum copper levels in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Cancer. 1980 Apr 15;45(8):2156-9. 

 

DCA for Cancer treatment?

We agree with and applaud the warnings and explanations provided by the science bloggers (Abel Pharmboy and Orac) on the hype and conspiracy mongering surrounding the use of this agent outside of a clinical trial.   The journal that published a full paper on DCA based on self-use (an account of an account) by a layperson deserves to be reprimanded for lowering the standards for articles on clinical research (basically a testimonial). 

* In the News: In the Pipeline
Dichloroacetic Acid, In a New Form.  http://bit.ly/1hTRE2T

 

ScienceBlogger Abel Pharmboy:

"what I think is most exciting about the Michelakis paper is that it provides support for aerobic glycolysis as being a cause of cancer, or at least a process that is permissive for maintenance of the neoplastic phenotype. This is a major conceptual advance and accounts for why it is published in Cancer Cell.

But I’m sort of taken aback by how the blogosphere has jumped on DCA as the cure for cancer and how there appears to be paranoia that the pharmaceutical industry will view DCA as a threat since it cannot be patented and, presumably, would not be interested in developing the agent."

Orac posts on DCA:
  1. In which my words will be misinterpreted as “proof” that I am a “pharma shill”

  2. Will donations fund dichloroacetate (DCA) clinical trials?

  3. Too fast to label others as “conspiracy-mongers”?

  4. Dichloroacetate: One more time…

  5. Laying the cluestick on DaveScot over dichloroacetate (DCA) and cancer

  6. A couple of more cluesticks on dichloroacetate (DCA) and cancer

  7. Where to buy dichloroacetate (DCA)? Dichloroacetate suppliers, even?

  8. An uninformative “experiment” on dichloroacetate

  9. Slumming around The DCA Site (TheDCASite.com), appalled at what I’m finding

  10. Slumming around The DCA Site (TheDCASite.com), the finale (for now)

  11. It’s nice to be noticed

  12. The deadly deviousness of the cancer cell, or how dichloroacetate (DCA) might fail

  13. The dichloroacetate (DCA) self-medication phenomenon hits the mainstream media

  14. Dichloroacetate (DCA) and cancer: Magical thinking versus Tumor Biology 101

  15. Checking in with The DCA Site

  16. Dichloroacetate and The DCA Site: A low bar for “success”

  17. Dichloroacetate (DCA): A scientist’s worst nightmare?

  18. Dichloroacetate and The DCA Site: A low bar for “success” (part 2)

  19. “Clinical research” on dichloroacetate by TheDCASite.com: A travesty of science

  20. A family practitioner and epidemiologist are prescribing dichloracetate (DCA) in Canada

  21. An “arrogant medico” makes one last comment on dichloroacetate (DCA)

Posts by fellow ScienceBlogger Abel Pharmboy:

  1. The dichloroacetate (DCA) cancer kerfuffle

  2. Where to buy dichloroacetate…

  3. Local look at dichloroacetate (DCA) hysteria

  4. Edmonton pharmacist asked to stop selling dichloroacetate (DCA)

  5. Four days, four dichloroacetate (DCA) newspaper articles

  6. Perversion of good science

  7. CBC’s ‘The Current’ on dichloroacetate (DCA)

 

Detoxifying as Treatment

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We have moved this topic here.

DIM - Diindolylmethane
Questions and related abstracts
Natural sources: broccoli, cabbage, turnip and mustard greens.
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DIM - Diindolylmethane is a well-studied plant compound that has anti-cancer properties. 

TOPIC SEARCH: PubMed  

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Agricultural Experiment Station has led to a patent for a new use for derivatives of DIM, or diindolylmethane, a natural compound derived from certain vegetables, to treat cancer - the mechanism seems to be inhibition of  PPAR-gamma -  agnews.tamu.edu/
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Related item: Human B lymphocytes and B lymphomas express PPAR-gamma and are killed by PPAR-gamma agonists. Clin Immunol. 2002 Apr;103(1):22-33. PMID: 11987982 | Related articles
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DIM and apoptosis - Related articles
 
Disclaimer:  The information on Lymphomation.org is not intended to be a substitute for 
professional medical advice or to replace your relationship with a physician.
For all medical concerns,  you should always consult your doctor. 
Patients Against Lymphoma, Copyright © 2004,  All Rights Reserved.