Green Tea and Turmeric May Be Helpful For Those Taking Anti-Cancer Drugs

If you’re going to add anything to your diet to be healthier, green tea and turmeric are great choices. By switching out coffee for green tea and adding a bit of turmeric spice to your foods, you could be doing your body a huge service. Both have a long list of accolades when it comes to health. Recently, they both added a few new things to their lists: they were found to help maintain normal blood pressure, reduce heart cell damage, and reduce the negative effects of anti-cancer drugs by reducing the amount of cardiotoxity formed in the heart.

Over the last five years, professor R Balaraman and research students from Michigan State University’s pharmacy department have been conducting studies focused on reducing the negative effects that anti-cancer medication can have upon the heart. The research focused on the anti-cancer drug doxorubicin, which is a popular anti-cancer drug that is known to cause congestive heart failure with long-term use. Doxorubicin induces cardiotoxicity, which is potentially fatal.

During their studies, the researchers found that green tea and turmeric increased antioxidant levels in the heart, reduced doxorubicin caused free radicals, and provided beneficial effects to the heart. They also found that they protected the heart against cardiotoxicity without reducing the anti-cancer effects of doxorubicin in any way. This is great news for those taking anti-cancer drugs.

Vipin Dhote and Balaraman wrote a paper about the research and presented it at the Conference of Indian Pharmacology Society at AIIMS. The paper was met with much enthusiasm.

While this is great news, there is no information about how much green tea and turmeric are needed to help protect the heart against the negative effects of doxorubicin. There is also no absolute finality that green tea and turmeric will work on the hearts of humans – yet. The researchers experimented with animals during their studies, and future clinical trials with humans are planned for the future.

In the meantime, enjoy some turmeric in your foods and drink some green tea for all the health benefits they offer beyond and above protecting the heart from cardiotoxicity.

Lung Cancer Drugs

Cancer of lung is the most widespread cause of cancer death in the world. In the UK, approximately 100 people are diagnosed with the cancer on a daily basis, and roughly 1 in 5 of them will have small cell lung cancer, for which the rate of survival is very low: simply 3 per cent of patients with it are expected to live more than 5 years following diagnosis.

Chemotherapy applies drugs to kill cancer cells. One or more drugs of chemotherapy might be administered by means of a vein in your arm or taken orally. A combination of drugs typically is provided in a series of treatments over a period of weeks or months.

Chemotherapy could be applied as a first line treatment for lung cancer or as added treatment following surgery. In a number of cases, chemotherapy could be utilized to reduce side effects of your cancer.

Iressa (gefitinib) is an innovative new type of anti-cancer drug for people with the most common type of cancer of lung. It is unlike all prior chemotherapy. That is, Iressa works by distinctively blocking cellular enzymes that stimulate cell enlargement.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the approval of Iressa (gefitinib) tablets as a sole agent treatment for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer. Iressa is being approved as a treatment for patients whose cancer has maintained to progress despite treatment with platinum-based and docetaxel chemotherapy, two drugs that are presently the standard of care in this disease.

The lung cancer drug Iressa has had noticeably positive effects for a number of the people who take it. Their tumors get smaller by more than 50 percent, and they live months and sometimes years longer than expected.

Iressa and drugs like Gleevac and Tarceva are part of a fairly new class of drugs. Different from standard chemotherapy drugs, the new class specifically targets a gene in tumors named the epidermal growth factor receptor. This receptor assists tumors spread and grow, and these drugs obstruct this receptor.

Does More Equal Better With Cancer Drugs?

The pharmaceutical industry is facing a coarse couple of years. The ‘patent-expiration cliff’ slated for 2012-2013, in which lucrative brand-name drugs will lose exclusiveness and face less expensive generics. To offset the losses they are expecting, many pharmaceuticals attempting to find profits have turned to oncology and creating cancer drugs.

This will sound like excellent news. But current motivations and market conditions may actually work to the detriment of pharmaceuticals and patients alike. Today, with cancer the following promising revenue source, a really well known New York-based chemical company employs one thousand analysts developing cancer treatments, spends 20 percent of its $7-billion-plus research and development budget on cancer, and has roughly twenty-two cancer drugs in controlled trials.

Pharmaceutical companies are pouring billions of greenbacks into developing cancer drugs. Latest systematic discoveries allowing for new targets in cancer research have generated about 860 drugs in trials — much more than for any other infirmities, including heart problems and stroke. Some critics call the excess a ‘cancer bubble.’

Still, with hundreds of new potentials and billions of greenbacks poured into cancer research, a cure should be approaching, right? Unfortunately, few drugs have made it to the market — only one this year. And many of those drugs aren’t revolutionary treatments, but medicines that extend life by days or months — or, in some cases, that simply stabilise the patient, and at a very high cost.

One difficulty is that while these drug firms can choose from many targets to attack, they cannot define which would be most beneficial. Even when one anomaly is targeted successfully, the carcinoma usually creates other anomalies, and permutations and complications so enormous that finding the right combo for a given patient’s physiology is almost impossible.

Then there’s the issue of financial interest. Insurance corporations and regimes tend to shell out the sums needed for cancer care with relative ease, so drug corporations find they can charge high costs for drugs that barely work, on the off-chance a given drug might save a life. Are drug companies actually attempting to find a cure? Or are they just satisfied with developing less dramatic treatments that fill their coffers? They may not have the inducement required to develop cures or hugely improved treatments, when they can make enough money creating stopgap drugs.

Naturally, pharma executives reject such a cold hearted conclusion. They’d gladly make better drugs that would offer bigger gains, they say. But this is likely tempered by the companies’ and shareholders’ wants.

The prevailing ‘cancer bubble,’ with so many rivals, so many drugs, and not enough room in the marketplace for all, begs the issue of whether today’s big investments in cancer drugs will ever bear fruit, or if some companies and their investors will get burned. One drug company aims for $11 bill in cancer-drug sales by 2018, more than quadrupling last year’s sales in the whole category.