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Side Effects in Women Cancer Patients

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“Women are at higher risk than men for severe cancer treatment-related adverse events (side effects), particularly for immunotherapy, according to a study..”

Immunotherapy can do amazingly positive things for cancer patients. At the same time, immunotherapy, according to the study below, can cause serious side effects- especially to women.

While I didn’t undergo Immune checkpoint inhibitors when I underwent active therapy, I did sustain dozens of short, long-term and late stage side effects. Conventional oncology, in my opinion, has always done a poor job of side effect prevention.

The point of this post is simply to highlight the very real possibility that women will sustain serious side effects from cancer therapies and that the risk of those side effects can be reduced with evidence-based, non-conventional therapies such as probiotics.

Have you been diagnosed with cancer? What type? What stage? Are you considering immunotherapy? To learn more about evidence-based, non-conventional therapies scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply to you ASAP.

Thank you,

David Emerson

  • Cancer Survivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Recommended Reading:

PeopleBeatingCancer Side Effects Program

Women Face Higher Risk for Severe AEs From Cancer Therapy

Large differences in risks for severe adverse events according to sex seen for cancer patients receiving immunotherapy

“Women are at higher risk than men for severe cancer treatment-related adverse events (AEs), particularly for immunotherapy, according to a study published online Feb. 4 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Joseph M. Unger, Ph.D., from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, and colleagues examined sex differences in treatment-related AEs among patients receiving

  • immunotherapy,
  • targeted therapy, or
  • chemotherapy

in cancer clinical trials. The analysis included data from 23,296 patients participating in phase II and III clinical trials (202 trials) between 1980 and 2019.

The researchers found that 274,688 AEs were analyzed for patients in clinical trials (17,417 with chemotherapy; 2,319 with immunotherapy; 3,560 with targeted therapy).

Nearly two-thirds of participants (64.6 percent) experienced one or more severe (grade ≥3) AEs.

Compared with men, there was an increased risk for severe AEs observed among women (odds ratio, 1.34), including a 49 percent increased risk among those receiving immunotherapy.

A higher risk for severe symptomatic AEs was seen among women receiving all treatments, but was highest for immunotherapy (odds ratio, 1.66). Severe hematologic AEs were more common among women receiving chemotherapy or immunotherapy.

“Particularly large sex differences were observed for patients receiving immunotherapy, suggesting that studying AEs from these agents is a priority,” the authors write.”

Cutaneous immune-related adverse events seen in 25 percent of cancer patients initiating ICI therapy with median onset time of 113 days

“Cutaneous immune-related adverse events (irAEs) are associated with initiation of immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) treatment in cancer patients, according to a study published online April 12 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Shannon Wongvibulsin, Ph.D., from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues examined the cumulative incidence, distribution, and risk factors of cutaneous irAEs after initiation of ICIs in a retrospective cohort study. Data were included for 8,637 ICI patients and 8,637 matched controls.

The researchers found that cutaneous irAEs had a cumulative incidence of 25.1 percent and median onset time was 113 days.

The ICI group had a significantly higher incidence of:

  • pruritus,
  • mucositis,
  • erythroderma,
  • maculopapular eruption,
  • vitiligo,
  • lichen planus,
  • bullous pemphigoid,
  • Grover’s disease,
  • rash and other nonspecific eruption,
  • and drug eruption or other nonspecific drug reaction.

The risk for cutaneous irAEs was higher for patients with melanoma and renal cell carcinoma and for those receiving combination therapy.

“These findings are of particular clinical relevance to both dermatologists and oncologists caring for patients receiving immune checkpoint inhibitors,” a coauthor said in a statement. “The real-world delays in the time to presentation of many of these conditions should also revise clinicians’ understanding of when to expect patients to present with these toxicities and not to rule out a delayed onset of symptoms as being unrelated to immunotherapy.”

Abstract/Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Benefits of using probiotics as adjuvants in anticancer therapy (Review)

“According to the World Health Organization, probiotics may confer a health benefit on the host when administered in adequate amounts. Anticancer therapy often causes severe side‑effects, including gastrointestinal toxicity. Several clinical trials have highlighted the efficacy of administering probiotics to cancer patients receiving anticancer care, with proven efficacy in reducing gut‑related and life‑threatening side‑effects.

To corroborate the clinical results, recent translational studies have indicated that the specific administration of selected bacterial gut species are capable of improving the immune check‑point immunotherapy clinical outcome.

Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG), a model probiotic widely studied in oncology, has been proven to be beneficial when administered during anticancer therapy. In this review, we report the up‑to‑date clinical advancements obtained following the administration of probiotics during anticancer therapy, with particular focus on the promising probiotic strain LGG..”



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