What I wish I knew about Multiple Myeloma treatments 25 years later...

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Antioxidants Increase Multiple Myeloma Chemo Effectiveness, Reduce Toxicity

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In fact, antioxidant supplementation may help increase (MM) survival rates, tumor response, and the patient’s ability to tolerate treatment

The world of multiple myeloma (MM) care, both conventional and non-conventional, is filled with debate. Antioxidant supplementation is at the heart of that debate. The two truths that cancer patients and oncologists do agree on is that:

  1.  no therapy works 100% of the time and
  2. cancer therapy causes side effects- some that heal and some that don’t heal and can kill the patient.

If you are a multiple myeloma patient, what would you do if you could increase the efficacy of your cancer therapy and decrease it’s collateral damage aka side-effects?

While supplementation in the form of anti-oxidants such as curcumin, resveratrol and omega-3 fatty acids continue to be debated, there is growing research and thinking that supplemention can be an ideal adjuvant therapy to chemoradiation. Especially for MM patients and survivors.

The links to the articles below cite dozens of studies pointing to the benefits of antioxidant supplementation for MM patients. Anything, ANYTHING that increases the efficacy of chemo or radiation while reducing toxicity should be considered.

As a long-term multiple myeloma survivor and MM cancer coach who has studied this issue since 2000 I don’t think supplementation as adjuvant MM therapy is a zero-sum game. Some MM patients react more to cancer therapies than others do. Whether you are talking about killing myeloma cells or killing healthy cells to create tissue damage.

If you have questions about how your individual diagnosis and treatment plan might be effected by antioxidant supplementation, please scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply to you ASAP.

Thank you,

David Emerson

  • Multiple Myeloma Survivor 
  • MM Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Recommended Reading:

1) Antioxidants May Aid Chemotherapy Patients-

“There is no evidence that antioxidant supplements interfere with the therapeutic effects of chemotherapy agents, according to a recent systematic review of the use of antioxidants during chemotherapy, available in the May, 2007 issue of the peer-reviewed journal Cancer Treatment Reviews. In fact, they may help increase survival rates, tumor response, and the patient’s ability to tolerate treatment.

2) Increasing the effectiveness of chemotherapy through supplementation-

“It is believed that any one drug works on only 30%-40% of the population.  Further, a large percentage of patients stop taking whatever cytotoxic therapy they are undergoing due to side effects (nausea, peripheral neuropathy, pain, etc.) It seems logical then that cancer suvivors currently undergoing chemotherapy would want to learn about complementary therapies that might help reduce the side effects that they experience and also possibly increase the efficacy of the chemotherapy they are taking.

3) The Pros and Cons of antioxidant supplementation during chemotherapy and radiation therapy

“With few exceptions, most of the studies draw positive conclusions about the interaction of antioxidants and radiotherapy. Although further studies are needed, the preponderance of evidence supports a provisional conclusion that dietary antioxidants do not conflict with the use of radiotherapy in the treatment of a wide variety of cancers and may significantly mitigate the adverse effects of that treatment.”

4) Antioxidants and Radiation Therapy1

Short- and long-term injury to healthy cells, including tissue damage and increased risk of oncogenic transformation (4), can be prevented by antioxidants, as seen experimentally. New findings that antioxidants induce apoptosis in cancer cells and protect patients from painful side effects of radiation treatment may prove these compounds useful in future adjuvant therapy.

5) Antioxidants in Cancer Therapy; Their Actions and Interactions With Oncologic Therapies

“There is a concern that antioxidants might reduce oxidizing free radicals created by radiotherapy and some forms of chemotherapy, and thereby decrease theeffectiveness of the therapy. The question has arisen whether concurrent administration of oral antioxidants is contraindicated during cancer therapeutics. Evidence reviewed here demonstrates exogenous antioxidants alone produce beneficial effects in various cancers, and except for a few specific cases, animal and human studies demonstrate no reduction of efficacy of chemotherapy or radiation when given with antioxidants. In fact, considerable data exists showing increased effectiveness of many cancer therapeutic agents, as well as a decrease in adverse effects, when given concurrently with antioxidants…”



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