Chemotherapy and Radiation Recovery IV

Combat the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation such as fatigue, nausea and vomiting, and decreased neurological function.

About this IV

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As effective as chemotherapy and radiation can be in the treatment of cancer, both come with a wide variety of well-known side effects. Nausea, vomiting and gastrointestinal symptoms are common, because rapidly dividing cells of the mucous membranes of the mouth, stomach and the intestines are often destroyed along with the cancer cells. Similarly, fatigue and anemia can occur when rapidly dividing cells of the bone marrow—which make red and white blood cells—get depleted.

The ingredients in this IV, when administered at the right time in conjunction with a comprehensive treatment plan provided by your oncologist, can help mitigate some of these side effects. B vitamins and minerals, which are essential in cellular DNA formation, gene expression, neurotransmitter formation and energy production are included to provide support to these fundamental biochemical processes. And powerful antioxidants like vitamin C, alpha lipoic acid and glutathione can be added to help “mop-up” the increased oxidative burden that comes with cancer and its treatment after radiation and chemotherapy.

We encourage you to discuss the use of this IV with your treating oncologist—especially when including antioxidants—as the timing and use of these agents is important and sometimes controversial in overall treatment (see below for more details).

Pair With: After discussion with your oncologist, add Liposomal vitamin C, Liposomal glutathione for continued oral high absorption antioxidant support.

Ingredients and Science

Science

Chemotherapy and radiation treatment creates a huge increase in demand for new essential nutrients. This happens because “innocent bystander” tissues are damaged during treatment and new cells must be made to regenerate these tissues.

B-Complex, B1, B2, B3, B9 (folate), B6, B12, and minerals such as magnesium and manganese are especially important as they are necessary for the Citric Acid Cycle (also called the Krebs or TCA cycle) which is how your metabolism operates and energy is produced in your body. These nutrients also play an indispensable role in methylation—the process by which your body generates the carbon groups(C-H3) that are essential for managing just about every operation in every cell in the human body. Methylation is involved in immune system function, DNA synthesis, neurotransmitter production, hormone metabolism, detoxification and energy creation to name just a few.

This is why the basic form of this IV is built on these key B vitamins and minerals. Providing your body high doses of these nutrients while you undergo chemotherapy and radiation provides your body the support during this time of increased demand.

With your oncologists approval we can also add powerful antioxidants to the IV which may further mitigate side effects. To understand why this works, we need to know a little bit about how radiation and chemotherapeutic agents work.

The actual mechanism that drives these treatments is the generation of free radicals. Free radicals are toxic oxidative substances such as reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS). When the generation of ROS/RNS exceeds cellular adaptive and repair capacities—a condition that is referred to as oxidative stress—biological molecules such as nucleic acids, proteins, and membrane phospholipids become damaged through oxidative reactions. Oxidative stress results in the failure of normal cellular functions and even cell death.

This is how radiation and some chemotherapeutic agents kill cancer cells. They drive up oxidative stress to the point where these cells—along with other “innocent bystanders”—are destroyed.

To learn more about the effects of the chemotherapy drugs you may be taking, click button link below

In order to check the activities of ROS/RNS your body evolved antioxidant systems that consist of biological antioxidants (e.g., vitamin C, vitamin E, and glutathione) and antioxidant enzymes (e.g., super-oxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase). However, under times of duress, these systems get easily overwhelmed and free radicals run rampant.

When you undergo chemotherapy or radiation high levels of ROS/RNS typically remain in the body even after treatment. When this happens they may contribute to increased nervous system inflammation. In fact, research has shown this process may be the driving factor in memory and cognitive issues commonly seen after chemotherapy and radiation (1).

Giving antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, alpha lipoic acid and glutathione has been controversial in cancer treatment, because many think that antioxidants neutralize the actual intended free radical damage effect of radiation and some chemotherapy in the killing of cancer cells.

Others think that these anti-oxidants are useful in cancer treatment, because they neutralize oxidation which in turn  supports the proliferation of malignant cells thus adding to cancer. This view maintains that antioxidants may counter the harmful effects of oxidation in the malignant process and thereby increase the effects of drugs or radiation therapy to the benefit of the patient. Moreover, they note that some evidence suggests that antioxidant supplements offer patients protection from the toxic effects of therapy, “mopping up” the collateral damage done by these treatments.

An article published in 2007 supports this view. Researchers form the Simone Protective Cancer Institute in Lawernceville, NJ (2) “looked at 280 peer-reviewed studies, including 50 human studies involving 8,521 patients, 5,081 of whom were given nutrients have consistently shown that non-prescription antioxidants and other nutrients do not interfere with therapeutic modalities for cancer. Furthermore, they enhance the killing of therapeutic modalities for cancer, decrease their side effects, and protect normal tissue. In 15 human studies, 3,738 patients who took non-prescription antioxidants and other nutrients actually had increased survival”.

More recently, the epicenter of dual treatment of cancer with conventional treatments (chemotherapy and radiation) AND vitamins C has been The University of Kansas Hospital. Dr. Qi Chen has conducted several human trials showing the effectiveness of High Dose Vitamin C as an oxidant alongside chemotherapy. For an FAQ of their 10-chair integrative IV cancer infusion clinic click here.

Dr. Weil’s summarized the answer to the question of antioxidant use in cancer in 2006 this way:

“As things now stand, we need more research before we can confidently advise patients one way or another. However, I posed (this question) to Donald Abrams, M.D., an integrative oncologist at the University of San Francisco and a graduate of the associate fellowship at the Program on Integrative Medicine here at the University of Arizona. Dr. Abrams told me that questions about antioxidants are the most frequent ones he gets. In the absence of strong evidence, he now advises patients as follows:

  • For those being treated for a possible cure (meaning that their tumors have been removed and that the goal of chemotherapy or radiation is to destroy any remaining cancer cells): Don’t take antioxidant supplements on the day before, the day of, and the day after chemotherapy. Otherwise, it is okay to take supplements.
  • For patients undergoing radiation therapy: no antioxidant supplements throughout the course of treatment.
  • For patients with advanced cancer who are being treated in order to prolong survival and relieve symptoms: it is okay to take antioxidant supplements. Because chemotherapy agents differ in their mode of action, it would be helpful to know whether the particular drugs being used work by an oxidative (free-radical-generating) mechanism. Ask the medical oncologist treating you for that information.

By the way, there is no justification for telling patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy to avoid antioxidant-rich foods.”

Ultimately the decision to use antioxidants as an adjunct to alleviate cancer treatment and side effects is a personal decision which should be arrived at with careful consideration of risk and benefits with one’s oncology doctor.

References

  1. Ahles TA, Saykin AJ. Candidate mechanisms for chemotherapy-induced cognitive changes. Nature Reviews Cancer, 7(3), 192-201.
  2. Simone CB, Simone NL, Simone V, Simone C B  Antioxidants and other nutrients do not interfere with chemotherapy or radiation therapy and can increase kill and increase survival, Part 2. Alternative therapies in health and medicine, 13(1), 22.
  3. Ma Y, Chapman J, Levine M, Polireddy K, Drisko J, Chen Q.. High-dose parenteral ascorbate enhanced chemosensitivity of ovarian cancer and reduced toxicity of chemotherapy.Science translational medicine, 6(222), 222ra18-222ra18.

Suggested Use

In cancer treatment to combat the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation. Use for defined periods of time while symptoms are severe and after careful discussion with your oncologist so that the treatments are timed safely away from the immediate use of chemotherapy and radiation if antioxidants are to be used.

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Testimonials

I’m in the process of living my life to the fullest while dealing with cancer. After having received traditional cancer treatment with chemotherapy and radiation, I started researching how I could keep myself as healthy as possible and that’s when I met Dr. Popa at IV for Life in Orange County. I’ve been coming to him for about 2 years for High Dose Vitamin C treatments. I believe that they boost my immune system and I know for a fact that I feel much more energetic and I just have a general sense of well being. When I had chemo they inserted a port so we use the port now for the IV Vitamin C treatment. It’s a really simple, painless procedure. Dr. Popa numbs the area (with the freezing skin spray) then inserts a specialized needle and hooks up the IV to it and I am ready to go. Everyone here is really kind and accommodating and very professional. It’s a nice safe environment and I am so happy I have Dr. Popa as part of my wellness team.

Judy R
Judy R.