Findings to be Presented at Complementary Cancer Care Conference April 11 and 13 in D.C.
WASHINGTON, April 8 /PRNewswire/ -- A new study using the CTF (Chemotherapy Fatigue) nutritional supplement protocol during chemotherapy demonstrated that a properly administered nutritional protocol materially enhanced chemotherapy patients' quality of life. A major side effect of chemotherapy is compromised quality of life including extreme patient fatigue.
A human intervention trial conducted on thirty-one patients with recurrent ovarian cancer showed substantially reduced levels of fatigue with the introduction of turmeric-based herbal and nutritional supplements provided by New Chapter, Inc. of Brattleboro, VT. The research, conducted by Earl Surwit, MD along with herbal/supplement consultants Paul Schulick and Tom Newmark, will be presented at the Complementary Cancer Care Conference to be held at the Washington, D.C. Hilton Towers on Friday, April 11, 3:30-5:00 p.m. and Sunday, April 13, 11-12:30 (Herbal and Nutritional Intervention in Cancer Treatment session).
Patients reported significant differences in their overall performance status from taking the New Chapter supplements. They then completed a quality of life/fatigue questionnaire called the FACIT Fatigue Index (Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy), which is a measure of these factors for chemotherapy patients. Changes of greater than 4 points are considered medically significant, and the average increase in the FACIT Index for patients on the Surwit program was 24. No patient experienced less than a 4-point increase, which means that virtually all patients experienced a significant increase in the quality of life and general fatigue reduction (ranging from 48-52 to 5-52).
"The New Chapter intervention made a world of difference with our patients -- the way they were able to tolerate chemotherapy and the fatigue factor, which is always huge for cancer patients," said oncology nurse Leigh David. "Many patients have said they didn't feel any worse going through chemotherapy than prior to their diagnosis. I saw with my own eyes the difference between patients who were on supplements and those who were not. It was very, very obvious."
Linda Moolenar, a 55-year-old kindergarten teacher who has been on chemo for 3 full years reports: "I have new options that I didn't have before I started the New Chapter regimen. I'm able to stay active -- I substitute teach, exercise daily, take dance classes and ride my bike. There's no comparison between my quality of life now and a year ago. New Chapter has made a big difference in helping me feel better all the time," she said. "My immune system has been strong enough to recover after every chemo treatment so I haven't had to take shots to build up my white blood count or for anemia. So far I haven't had to postpone treatments while waiting for the white count to improve. I have no bone aches or nausea. I definitely believe it's from taking these supplements."
Carol Billeter, a 60-year-old special education teacher who has been on chemo for 8 months and is now 6 weeks into her second round with Gemzar reports: "I'm not nearly as tired as the first time. I really think I should be far worse off than I am. I can't think of any other reason for the difference except the herbs and supplements.
"In spite of chemo, I'm extremely busy -- I walk the dog, do water aerobics, yoga, lift weights, do oil painting and am taking a class at school."
Among all the patients in the Surwit study, there was no difference in hematocrit before (34) or after the intervention (35). There was no difference in the chemotherapy regimen prior to the nutritional protocol or after, as most patients were on the same drug regimen after the intervention. Chemotherapy regimens were Carboplatin/Taxol, Gemzar, Topetecan, Doxil, Taxol, Cisplatin, and Gemzar-Cisplatin.
"This combination of herbal and nutritional supplements substantially reduced fatigue in a population of heavily pretreated recurrent ovarian cancer patients," said Dr. Surwit. "This study gives confidence to patients and oncologists that a properly supervised program of antioxidant herbs, medicinal mushrooms, and nutritional support can lead to medically significant improvements in the quality of a cancer patient's life. We are delighted with the results and believe that further studies should follow."
About the CTF nutritional supplement protocol
CTF features New Chapter supplements that include herbs previously shown to complement or not disrupt chemotherapy, with the principal formulations being Zyflamend(R), an herbal formula for reducing COX-2 inflammation potency assured for ten marker compounds, Turmeric Force(TM), a concentrated extract of turmeric -- potency assured for the presence of curcuminoids and turmerones, and Host Defense(TM) MycoMedicinals(R). Other supplements in the CTF protocol were Supercritical DHA 100(TM), Every Woman(R) MultiVitamin/Mineral, Ginger/Green Tea Tonic(TM), Garlicforce(TM), Probiotic Selenium, and Holy Basil, all provided by New Chapter, Inc.
The herbs were prepared using a unique supercritical CO2 extraction process or more conventional water/ethanolic processes. These formulations contain potency-assured herbs marked for specified marker compounds. The vitamins and minerals used as nutritional supplements were in an easily digestible probiotic form created via fermentation. The medicinal mushrooms were a 16-species blend selected for immune-system enhancement. All of the nutritional supplements are commercially available, and provided for the trial by New Chapter, Inc.
About the researchers
Dr. Surwit is a leading gynecologic oncologist in the Tuscon area and a founder of the Sunstone Cancer Support Foundation and the Sunstone Healing Center. He is one of the innovators who introduced laparoscopy to gynecologic cancer surgeries, and has authored over 100 papers and books in the specialty of gynecologic oncology.
Paul Schulick has been researching herbs for more than twenty years and is author of Ginger: Common Spice and Wonder Drug (Hohm Press), and co-author along with Tom Newmark of Beyond Aspirin (Hohm Press) and The Life Bridge (Herbal Free Press). Schulick and Newmark are principals of New Chapter, Inc. http://www.newchapter.info , and co-formulators of Zyflamend(R).
For more information on this research, members of the press are invited to contact Dean Draznin Communications, 641-472-2257 or 561-445-8715.
"Nobody knows how long they're going to live. What matters is your quality of life ... how you feel every moment, how much you can enjoy your family every day. You do whatever you can to make life during chemotherapy more livable...I'm now a believer in the power of herbs and supplements. They've made an enormous difference." - Carol Billeter, 60-year-old special education teacher who has been on chemotherapy for 8 months.