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Supplements Are Tolerable for Patients With Pancreatic Cancer

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Supplements can be tolerated and even beneficial for patients undergoing treatment for advanced pancreatic cancer, according to Vincent Chung, MD, a medical oncologist at City of Hope.


This was a safety study trying to evaluate ... are patients able to tolerate taking these supplements on a regular basis in combination with the chemotherapy. Since patients with pancreatic cancer commonly have gastrointestinal (GI) problems, the question is: can they take 12 pills per day, as well as 2 smoothie packets. And we found that that was actually feasible. There was 1 patient [who] did not want to take that many supplements per day and decided to stop because of GI toxicities, but taking the physical volume of pills was just too much for them on a daily basis.

But for the most part, the other patients actually tolerated it really well. Anecdotally, many of the patients actually said they had improvement of their symptoms, so some of them actually had a little bit more energy, some of them actually overall just felt better when they were taking the supplements in combination with chemotherapy. So there may have been an effect on the supplements improving their tolerance to the chemotherapy.

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