TMH Gynecologic Oncology Specialists - 1775 One Healing Place, Tallahassee, FL 32308   (850) 431-4888

What to eat and not to eat while on Taxol

What should ovarian cancer patients eat during Taxol (paclitaxel) chemotherapy?Taxol (paclitaxel) is effective in improving breast cancer prognosis: numerous studies have found that it protects against ovarian cancer recurrence and death. Taxol and other taxanes can result inside effects such as hair loss, mouth sores, nausea, fatigue, low white blood cell count, neuropathy, muscle and joint pain, cognitive impairment (chemo brain) and serious infections. While obtaining relief from these side effects obviously is desirable, it is very important for breast cancer patients to avoid consuming foods or taking supplements that will lessen the cytotoxic impact of chemotherapy on breast cancer cells.While various micronutrients found in fruits, vegetables and other foods have been shown to help protect against ovariana cncer development and metastasis, some of the same micronutrients might enable breast cancer cells to survive chemotherapy. Therefore, the strategy we recommend during chemotherapy and for the following month is to consume the foods recommended below, as well as those listed on the bland chemotherapy diet (also below), while limiting or avoiding the foods listed below that should not be consumed while on Taxol (as well as those on our avoid list). Please see also our web page on factors influencing Taxol's effectiveness.Foods that enhance the effectiveness of Taxol
The following foods are very good sources of compounds that have been shown to increase the anti-cancer effects of Taxol:Turmeric might protect the brain from chemotherapy, thereby possibly reducing chemo brain. However, note that curcumin (found in turmeric) has been shown to be an iron chelator, which could negatively impact some women undergoing chemotherapy by reducing their iron stores. Sour cherriesolive oil and vitamin D might relieve joint and muscle pain, although their effectiveness has not specifically been studied in the context of taxane chemotherapy. Brazil nut consumption should be limited to no more than one nut per day, on average, to avoid consuming excess selenium. Please note that while high omega-3 fish such as salmon are recommended, recent research suggests that fish oil supplements should not be used by those undergoing chemotherapy.Foods and other products that should not be used during Taxol chemotherapy
The following foods and supplements have been found either to interfere with the effectiveness of Taxol or, in the case of raw shellfish, should not be consumed by those with impaired immunity:Orange flavonoid hesperidin could reduce effectiveness of cyclophosphamide
Hesperidin, a flavonoid found in oranges, tangerines, kumquats, lemons, limes and grapefruit, has the potential to interfere with chemotherapy regimens containing cyclophosphamide, such as TAC (taxotere, adriamycin and cyclophosphamide). Cyclophosphamide is an alkylating agent frequently used in combination with taxanes (TaxolTaxotere) and/or anthracyclines (Adriamycin, epirubicin) to treat breast cancer. Hesperidin is found most abundantly in the peel, pith and membranous parts of oranges and other citrus fruits. Prepared food sources include orange tea, unfiltered orange juice, orange marmalade, and dishes that incorporate citrus peel such as Szechuan Orange Chicken.Bland diet for use during Taxol chemotherapy
The list below de-emphasizes high-antioxidant and antimutagenic foods such as brightly colored fruits and vegetables, while featuring bland, as well as somewhat bitter-tasting foods, that do not promote cancer (when consumed in moderation). It is important not to drive up blood sugar andinsulin levels with high carbohydrate/low fiber meals. Select as wide a variety of these foods as possible and consume any one of them in moderation in addition to the foods recommended above.Weight loss and weight gain during chemotherapy
Recent studies suggest that fasting around chemotherapy treatments could protect normal cells from the toxic effects of chemotherapy while sensitizing cancer cells to the treatment. However, more studies and human trials are required before it can be determined whether fasting during chemotherapy is safe and effective.On the other hand, weight gain, which is common during chemotherapy, is known to be associated with less favorable prognosis and should be avoided.Additional comments
We caution against taking curcuminEGCG, gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), I3CDIMluteolin,quercetinapigenin, or resveratrol in supplement form because of the possibility of unintended consequences. Safe and effective dosages for these supplements during chemotherapy have not been established. Note that curcumin has been shown to be an iron chelator, which could negatively impact some women undergoing chemotherapy by reducing their iron stores.Below are links to recent studies on this topic. For a more complete list of studies, please click onTaxol.Tags: apigenin, apple, arugula, bellPepper, blackPepper, blueberry, bokChoy, BrazilNut, broccoli,brusselsSprouts, cabbage, caffeine, carrot, celery, coffee, curcumin, DIM, docetaxel, EGCG, fishOil,GLA, grape, greens, greenTea, herring, hesperetin, hotPepper, I3C, kale, lakeTrout, luteolin,mackerel, mustard, olive, onion, paclitaxel, parsley, quercetin, resveratrol, rice, salmon, sardine,seaweed, selenium, sideEffects, taxane, Taxol, Taxotere, treatmentArticles, turmeric, turnip,watercress

Selected breast cancer studiesLuteolin enhances paclitaxel-induced apoptosis in human breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cells by blocking STAT3Potentiation of paclitaxel activity by curcumin in human breast cancer cell by modulating apoptosis and inhibiting EGFR signalinModified Arabinoxylan from Rice Bran, MGN-3/Biobran, Sensitizes Metastatic Breast Cancer Cells to Paclitaxel In VitroPotentiation of paclitaxel activity by curcumin in human breast cancer cell by modulating apoptosis and inhibiting EGFR signalingFucoidan extract enhances the anti-cancer activity of chemotherapeutic agents in breast cancer cellsChanges in body weight during various types of chemotherapy in breast cancer patientsCaffeine inhibits paclitaxel‑induced apoptosis in colorectal cancer cells through the upregulation of Mcl‑1 levelsA Survey of Joint and Muscle Aches, Pain, and Stiffness Comparing Women With and Without Breast CancerFull-dose chemotherapy in early stage breast cancer regardless of absolute neutrophil count and without G-CSF does not increase chemotherapy-induced febrile neutropeniaMonounsaturated fatty acids in serum triacylglycerols are associated with response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy in breast cancer patientsRandomized Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Trial of Acetyl-L-Carnitine for the Prevention of Taxane-Induced Neuropathy in Women Undergoing Adjuvant Breast Cancer TherapyAntitumor efficacy of piperine in the treatment of human HER2-overexpressing breast cancer cellsFucoidan Extract Enhances the Anti-Cancer Activity of Chemotherapeutic Agents in MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 Breast Cancer CellsObesity or Overweight Is Associated with Worse Pathological Response to Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy among Chinese Women with Breast CancerDiindolilmethane (DIM) selectively inhibits cancer stem cellsCoping with the burden of taste alteration, a toxicity of taxane-based chemotherapyProtective Effect of Caffeic Acid on Paclitaxel Induced Anti-Proliferation and Apoptosis of Lung Cancer Cells Involves NF-κB PathwayEffects of resveratrol on paclitaxel-sensitive and -resistant triple negative breast cancer cellsMethylseleninic Acid Enhances Paclitaxel Efficacy for the Treatment of Triple-Negative Breast CancerEffect of ascorbic acid on reactive oxygen species production in chemotherapy and hyperthermia in prostate cancer cellsPostdiagnosis Change in Bodyweight and Survival After Breast Cancer DiagnosisSynergistic Effects of Apigenin and Paclitaxel on Apoptosis of Cancer Cells< Previous  Top  Next >

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