Category: Integrative Cancer Support

  • Posted By:

    Sheila Beades

  • Category:

    Immune Support

The Dangers of Stress Stress acts as a relevant and integral piece of our daily lives. Defined as a stimulus that precipitates a physiological reaction in the brain, stress functions to activate a response in the body that has historically served as a survival mechanism for the human population. Stress can be caused by daily responsibilities and routines, or more traumatic events such as development of an illness or hospitalization. Sustained levels of elevated stress responses cause profound alterations in proper functionality of immune system physiology. This can potentially lead to development and propagation of various chronic illnesses, including cancer. The magnitude and duration of elevations in stress hormones affects immune cell trafficking and function, thereby affecting health outcomes. In order to further understand this concept, it is important to survey the types of immune system responses responsible for overall health and well-being. How Stress Affects the Protective Immune System First, the protective part of the immune system mechanistically functions to elicit immediate action in response to wounds, trauma, and/or infection. This involves many of the 'fight or flight' hormones – such as epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol. In terms of cancer, this piece is vital for appropriate monitoring of cell...

  • Posted By:

    Kirsten West

  • Category:

    Integrative Cancer Support

Oftentimes, when we think of cancer, we think of a primary tumor. In fact, this is what so much of our diagnostic screening sets out to find: an abnormal mass occupying space. But an important question to ask is; can cancer metastases occur without a primary tumor? Surprisingly, the answer is yes. Cancer Diagnosis and Tumors Tumors are aberrant growths of tissue and are either benign or malignant. We term them malignant when this mass is invasive, uncontrollable, dangerous, and potentially fatal. Invasive risk is the reason great importance is given to screening exams (i.e., mammograms, digital rectal exams, colonoscopies). The rule of thumb has always been: if we can catch it early, the chances of tumor invasion will be reduced, and the chance of overall survival, increased. Cancer Spreading Prior to Appearance of Tumor However, as typically happens with greater knowledge and clinical experience, our deductions – i.e., ‘rules of thumb’ are muddled. What we now know, is that cancer can spread before a primary tumor is appreciable. This phenomenon is not new. In fact, metastatic cancers have been discovered in individuals without a primary tumor. This has occurred and continues to occur in approximately 5% of those afflicted...

  • Posted By:

    Kirsten West

  • Category:

    Integrative Cancer Support

Our Dr. Kirsten West contributed a write up for the Natural Medicine Journal detailing a clinical trial to assess if the combination of delta tocotrienol and bevacizumab delays the progression of multi-resistant ovarian cancer. Learn how the results show that multiple therapeutic actions and the low toxicity of delta tocotrienol demonstrate synergistic effects with bevacizumab in ovarian cancer. Study: Delta Tocotrienol and Bevacizumab for Recurrent Ovarian Cancer Reference Thomsen CB, Andersen RF, Steffensen KD, Adimi P, Jakobsen A. Delta tocotrienol in recurrent ovarian cancer. A phase II trial. Pharmacol Res. 2019;141:392-396. Objective To assess if the combination of delta tocotrienol and bevacizumab delays the progression of multiresistant ovarian cancer. Design Phase II, nonrandomized, single-arm, open-label clinical trial Participants The study included 23 women with advanced-stage, histologically verified endothelial fallopian or peritoneal ovarian cancer that had progressed despite treatment with at least 2 (median of 4) different cytostatic regimens. All patients were platinum-resistant, and more than half had previously progressed while on bevacizumab. Most participants had stage III disease at the time of diagnosis and serous histopathology was the dominant type. All participants were >18 years, had a performance status of 0-2, and had adequate organ function. Study Medication and Dosage Patients...

  • Posted By:

    Kirsten West

  • Category:

    Integrative Cancer Support

Did you know that in Japan, Korea, and China, there is a long history of using Chinese herbs in cancer patients with increasing evidence documenting the potential benefits? Delve into this topic with Dr. Kirsten West's latest collaborative work with Dr. Yoon Hang John Kim and Dr. Wendy Luo on a Pragmatic Evidence-Based Guide to Using Chinese Herbs for Cancer Patients. In this insight paper they explore the four main branches of Chinese medicine; Acupuncture, Qi Gong, Tuina (Massage) and Chinese herbs. They also offer enlightening information on Kampo the Chinese way of healing and how it can be applied to the many aspects of the cancer patient. The paper wraps up with the controversy of using alternative medicine and gives a pragmatic guideline on using Chinese herbs in cancer patients. Check out the paper in its entirety here: https://www.cientperiodique.com/article/CPQME-7-3-195.pdf

  • Posted By:

    Kirsten West

  • Category:

    Integrative Cancer Support

Vitamin C Vitamin C has long been known for its effects on immune stimulation and function. Because of vitamin C's role in maintaining normal immune function, many people use it for treating and preventing infectious conditions such as the common cold. Activity of several major immune cells and the messengers they produce seem to be increased by vitamin C.  An additional viewpoint is that vitamin C serves as an antioxidant and increased intake from either foods or dietary supplements may promote good health. Cancer chemoprevention studies i.e., studies that have looked at the use of chemical agents, drugs, or food supplements to prevent the development of cancer,  have used this antioxidant rationale to examine any association between decreased tumor incidence and Vitamin C ingestion. Unfortunately, these studies have not revealed tumor reduction with use of ORAL vitamin C. In contrast to this line of investigation, there is also the hypothesis that high doses of intravenous Vitamin C may create a pro-oxidant or “cell-killing” state within tumors and possibly improve quality of life. Evolving research speaks to this hypothesis and the use of vitamin C, intravenously, as a cancer fighter. So far, high dose vitamin C has been tested in phase...