Calcium Magnesium Reduce Chemo Side Effects

Life Extension Update Exclusive

May 20, 2008

Calcium and magnesium reduce chemo side effects

Calcium and magnesium reduce chemo side effects

A presentation on May 15, 2008 at the 44th annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology revealed that calcium and magnesium administered intravenously to patients undergoing chemotherapy results in a significant reduction in neurotoxicity, a common side effect of chemotherapeutic drugs. The condition is characterized by pain in the extremities that can be severe enough to prevent cancer patients from continuing their treatment.

Researchers with the North Central Cancer Treatment Group administered intravenous calcium and magnesium before and after treatment with the chemotherapeutic drug oxaliplatin to 50 of 102 patients with advanced colon cancer. The remaining 52 patients received oxaliplatin with an intravenous placebo. The research team found a significant reduction in neurotoxicity incidence, severity, and time to onset associated with the use of calcium and magnesium compared with the placebo group.

“We designed a double-blind, placebo-controlled study that confirmed the effectiveness of calcium plus magnesium in reducing debilitating neurological sensitivity associated with oxaliplatin, such as pain in the hands, fingers, feet and toes,” explained study co-chair Daniel Nikcevich, MD, PhD, who is an oncologist at St. Mary’s Duluth Clinic in Minnesota. “In the past, these side effects have caused patients to stop treatment and, therefore, not receive critical therapy.”

“Some initial reports from other studies claimed that the use of calcium and magnesium reduced the activity of oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy,” added co-chair Axel Grothey, MD of the Mayo Clinic. “However, we have definitive results from an independent, blinded radiologic review which demonstrates no negative influence of calcium and magnesium on the outcome for oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy.”

“Now that we have shown the effectiveness of calcium and magnesium in reducing oxaliplatin-induced neurotoxicity, a further step may be to evaluate the benefit of calcium and magnesium in reducing neurotoxicity caused by other medications,” Dr Nikcevich stated. “Many other commonly used chemotherapy agents cause neurological sensitivity. By applying our study design, we can test the effectiveness of calcium and magnesium when used with other treatments.”

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Health Concern Life Extension Highlight

Cancer chemotherapy

Cancer chemotherapy is known to produce severe side effects such as heart muscle damage, gastrointestinal damage, anemia, nausea, and lethal suppression of immune function.

Nutrients and hormone therapies can be used to mitigate the toxicity of chemotherapy. Bolstering the immune system may help alleviate or reduce the severity of the complications associated with chemotherapy.

Melatonin has been shown to protect against chemotherapy-induced immunosuppression. Melatonin mediates the toxicity of chemotherapy and inhibits free-radical production (Lissoni et al. 1999). In a randomized study to evaluate the effect of melatonin on the toxicity of chemotherapy drugs, patients receiving melatonin with chemotherapy had lower incidences of neuropathies, thrombocytopenia, stomatitis, alopecia, malaise, and vomiting. The appropriate dose of melatonin was between 30-50 mg at bedtime (Lissoni et al. 1997a; Lissoni et al. 1997b). Adding melatonin to a chemotherapy regimen may prevent some toxic effects of the chemotherapy drugs, especially myelosuppression (suppression of blood cells production in bone marrow) and neuropathies (abnormality of nerve functioning both within and outside the central nervous system).

Melatonin may also be an especially effective and safe therapy to correct thrombocytopenia, a condition characterized by a decrease in the number of blood platelets. In patients who randomly received chemotherapy alone or chemotherapy plus melatonin (20 mg each evening), thrombocytopenia was significantly less frequent in patients treated with melatonin (Lissoni 2002). Malaise and lack of strength were also significantly less frequent in patients receiving melatonin. Finally, stomatitis (inflammation of the mouth area) and neuropathy were less frequent in the melatonin group.


The Prostate Cancer Conference 2008: State of the Art Treatments for Early Stage and Relapsed Prostate Cancer

The Prostate Cancer Conference 2008 is the 10th major conference devoted to prostate cancer, planned and/or produced by members of The Prostate Cancer Research Institute. As in the past, this conference will provide insight for patients, caregivers and medical professionals. The conference faculty is composed of physicians and scientists who are experts in prostate cancer.

August 29-September 5, 2008 Second Annual Life Extension Cruise

Our first cruise was so successful that we decided to offer another one in 2008! Attendees told us they were able to learn a lot about the latest in integrative therapies and antiaging research and at the same time have plenty of fun aboard the cruise ship.

The second Life Extension Seminar at Sea will be a 7-night cruise on August 29, 2008. This time we will cruise the splendor of the Alaskan wilderness aboard Celebrity’s sumptuous Infinity. You’ll enjoy our Life Extension seminars, one-on-one consultations, a welcome aboard cocktail reception, exceptional personal service, award-winning cuisine, world-famous amenities, accommodations that are the most spacious at sea, and much more.

Experience the extraordinary: Celebrity

Travel press, such as Condé Nast Traveler, consistently rate Celebrity Cruises as one of the world's finest cruise lines. Celebrity offers an incomparable cruise experience aboard ships of uncompromising style and sophistication. From spectacular dining to indulgent spa treatments, you’ll find countless possibilities to satisfy body and soul. Sleep upon Egyptian cotton linens, enjoy butler service in all suites, or special amenities with Concierge Class staterooms, dine in award-winning restaurants, pay a visit to Fortunes Casino, experience Las Vegas-style shows or a movie in the cinema, be pampered by Celebrity's exclusive AquaSpa programs, and much more.

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