Non-Small Cell Lung Most cancers (NSCLC) & Naturopathic Oncology

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Maximizing Outcomes Utilizing – Half 1

Jen Inexperienced, ND, FABNO
Dugald Seely, ND, MSc, FABNO
Heather Wright, ND, FABNO

Naturopathic oncology combines present greatest proof, scientific expertise, and affected person preferences. This text is the primary a part of a 2-part article demonstrating how naturopathic docs can apply analysis, individualization, and expertise to reinforce standard-of-care remedy generally, in addition to particularly for superior Non-Small Cell Lung Most cancers (NSCLC). This text additionally highlights a dynamic scientific software known as KNOW (the Data in Naturopathic Oncology Web site), which permits naturopathic docs to rapidly entry related analysis in naturopathic oncology. In Half 2 we are going to current 2 instances of sufferers residing with NSCLC, with a view to show how this data will be put into apply.

KNOW (accessible at is a database of clinically related analysis supported by the Oncology Affiliation of Naturopathic Physicians. It’s commonly up to date by a medical librarian via systematic searches of Medline and EMBASE for human research associated to pure therapies and most cancers care. Following completion of every search, 2 folks display screen the information for related citations. Then full textual content articles are sourced and summarized to report examine design, inhabitants particulars, intervention particulars, assessed outcomes, and hostile occasions. KNOW analysis assistants additionally tag every abstract based on kind of pure remedy, typical remedy, and unwanted effects of typical care (eg, neuropathy, nausea). This permits every summarized examine to be absolutely searchable throughout the KNOW web site. KNOW is updated and full for breast most cancers, neuropathy, curcumin, and lung most cancers subjects (and subtopics) from 2010-2016. We’re at the moment engaged on summarizing research from all tumor varieties for the years 2010-2017. KNOW is a analysis challenge that forwards the sphere of naturopathic oncology and is designed to energy articles, systematic evaluations, and different evidence-based content material. KNOW empowers clinicians and sufferers with present greatest proof. To realize entry, merely turn out to be an oncANP member at

Non-Small Cell Lung Most cancers

Whereas early NSCLC is treatable, stage III and IV lung most cancers are difficult and might have very poor 5-year survival.1 Remedy for stage III NSCLC sometimes contains some mixture of chemotherapy, radiation, and/or surgical procedure. If most cancers recurs or progresses on these remedies, or if somebody has extra in depth stage IV illness, then focused remedy or immunotherapy is used.

Lung tumor tissue ought to get examined for frequent gene mutations, akin to within the EGFR, ALK, ROS1 and PD-L1 genes. If one in every of these genes is mutated in stage IV NSCLC, first-line remedy would seemingly be a focused remedy. For tumors which have the ALK gene mutation, alectinib,2 crizotinib, or ceritinib can be utilized. Different ALK inhibitors, akin to alectinib or brigatinib, can be utilized if crizotinib stops working or shouldn’t be effectively tolerated. For folks whose cancers are related to modifications within the EGFR gene, the anti-EGFR medicine – erlotinib, gefitinib, or afatinib – can be utilized. For folks whose cancers have modifications within the ROS1 gene, an ALK inhibitor akin to crizotinib could be used. And for folks with the PD-L1 protein, immunotherapy with pembrolizumab or nivolumab is an choice.Three   

Targets of a supportive naturopathic oncology plan embody: sustaining weight, enhancing high quality of life and minimizing dose-limiting unwanted effects (ie, a facet impact requiring oncologists to scale back or delay remedy). The most important targets embody higher affected person tolerance of remedy and improved survivorship. In lung most cancers, dose-limiting unwanted effects can embody mucositis, esophagitis, peripheral neuropathy, or bone marrow suppression.


To evaluation the proof for pure therapeutic choices in, we begin our search by limiting the tumor kind to lung most cancers. This ends in 116 research on pure interventions and lung most cancers. One can rapidly at a look scan the titles and 12 months of publication listed for statistically vital constructive research (highlighted in inexperienced), combined outcomes research (highlighted in yellow), and unfavourable research (highlighted in crimson). The upper level-of-evidence research are discovered on the prime and embody systematic evaluations, meta-analyses, and scientific trials. Research with larger threat of bias and regarded to be “decrease” stage proof, ie, observational research and case experiences, are listed on the backside. Clicking on any quotation title will increase it to disclose the complete, peer-reviewed abstract chart with detailed data on most cancers kind, remedy kind, pure remedy, dose, length, hostile results, and outcomes.


Determine 1. Pattern Listing of Research Matching Search Standards

Bettering Survival Time

Limiting the lung most cancers research above to “end result kind/survival,” ends in 15 matched research. That is very thrilling! We see randomized managed trial (RCT) experiences improved 5-year survival in lung most cancers sufferers by including melatonin 20 mgFour to chemotherapy, additionally that an earlier managed trial reveals that melatonin 20 mg improved 1-year survival.5 We additionally see that, based on a meta-analysis of over 1500 sufferers with NSCLC, those that used Astragalus-based natural combos together with platinum-based chemotherapy had statistically vital enchancment in general survival in contrast with those that used platinum-based chemotherapy alone.6 One, 2, and Three-year survival charges had been all higher within the Astragalus-based teams, together with higher high quality of life. There was additionally much less nausea/vomiting, fatigue, lack of urge for food, and low blood counts within the those who used Astragalus-based combos in comparison with platinum-based remedy alone.6 We are able to additionally study from nearer inspection that the best profit was present in Astragalus-based natural formulation that had been primarily based on syndrome differentiation (the Conventional Chinese language Drugs type of prognosis) versus Astragalus-based injection or Astragalus-based, oral patent medicines. The findings on this evaluation help “individualized remedy” – one of many founding ideas of naturopathic drugs – as a technique that may really confer a survival profit in lung most cancers!

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Aspect Impact Administration


Esophagitis is a typical and distressing facet impact of chemo-radiation (radiation concurrent with chemotherapy) for lung most cancers. Esophagitis could make swallowing so painful that sufferers cease consuming, shed extra pounds, get surgically-placed feeding tubes, begin liquid diets, get depressed, and spiral downward when it comes to vitality and hope. An vital scientific pearl for chemo-radiation is that it’s important to prioritize dietary supplements and be ready to change to powdered or liquid kinds if wanted.

By looking KNOW for facet impact and esophagitis, we uncover Three small however pertinent research. One in all these is an observational examine on oral glutamine. It experiences that folks with stage III NSCLC who took oral glutamine (10 g TID) throughout their chemo-radiotherapy had much less weight reduction and fewer extreme irritation of the esophagus in comparison with those that didn’t take glutamine.7 Glutamine supplementation additionally improved disease-free survival and confirmed a development towards higher general survival (p=.05). In one other examine, lung most cancers sufferers with grade II esophagitis from chemo-radiation got oral epigallocatechin-Three-gallate (EGCG) resolution TID, 1 of 6 completely different focus ranges, 2 hours earlier than radiation.eight Dramatic regression of esophagitis was noticed in 22 of 24 sufferers. Grade II esophagitis persevered in 2 of 24 sufferers on the finish of radiotherapy. Ache scores decreased additional throughout each week of remedy (usually ache would enhance over time). The simplest focus was 440 µmol/L and was beneficial for subsequent examine. Adversarial results of EGCG included grade II heartburn (n=1) and abdomen discomfort (n=1), and most sufferers complained about its nauseating style.eight The final examine that got here from our esophagitis search was an elemental weight loss program trial that included glutamine – a examine that had combined outcomes.9

Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is commonly a dose-limiting facet impact of chemotherapy. When looking KNOW, we may both choose for facet impact and peripheral neuropathy or, alternatively, we may simply use the open textual content field to look the agent getting used, eg, carboplatin. With these searches, we’ve realized from KNOW that choices to stop neuropathy embody fish oil, glutamine, and vitamin E, and that acupuncture reveals effectiveness for established neuropathy. In a scientific evaluation of 10 randomized scientific trials, omega-Three dietary supplements throughout chemotherapy and/or radiation remedy helped sufferers preserve weight, decreased peripheral neuropathy, decreased irritation (as mirrored by C-reactive protein), and improved high quality of life.10 It didn’t, nonetheless, affect survival occasions. In a scientific evaluation of three scientific trials, oral glutamine prevented chemotherapy-induced neuropathy in most cancers sufferers and decreased interference with actions of every day residing.11 Whereas glutamine supplementation in most cancers sufferers is controversial, we use it routinely throughout chemotherapy as a result of glutamine turns into a conditionally important amino acid when there may be fast cell turnover. There are Four research on vitamin E (300 mg BID alongside platinum or taxol chemotherapy) through which vitamin E considerably decreased peripheral neuropathy.12-15 Lastly, in a scientific evaluation of seven scientific trials, acupuncture proved helpful for current chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy.16

Bone Marrow Suppression

Low white blood cell (WBC) counts delay chemotherapy and depart sufferers weak to infections. Astragalus-based formulation, as mentioned earlier, represent well-researched supportive take care of sustaining immunity and enhancing survivorship. Different methods revealed via KNOW, with various ranges of proof, embody wheatgrass juice (60 mL),17 melatonin (20 mg),18 Coriolus versicolor,19 oral shitake hot-water extract,20 and shenqi fuzheng injections.21 Empirically, Chinese language natural combos together with Spatholobus / Milletia (aka Ji Xue Teng) look like significantly efficient at sustaining WBC counts throughout chemotherapy.

High quality of Life

Subcutaneous Viscum album (mistletoe) is an choice for superior most cancers sufferers that’s used worldwide. In KNOW, we will see a big RCT from 2004, reporting proprietary mistletoe extract injection alongside chemotherapy improved high quality of life and decreased unwanted effects akin to ache, nausea, fatigue, anorexia, and insomnia in most cancers sufferers in comparison with controls.22 We are able to additionally see a smaller RCT from 2013 that had combined outcomes utilizing one other frequent mistletoe preparation.23 On this examine, there have been no variations in median general survival or high quality of life within the sufferers taking mistletoe; nonetheless, they did have fewer chemotherapy dose reductions, fewer grade Three-Four toxicities, and fewer hospitalizations.23

Weighing the Proof for Therapies & Interactions

A number of the most troublesome selections in naturopathic oncology concern herb-drug or nutrient-drug interactions, in addition to understanding when the advantages of utilizing particular therapies may outweigh the dangers. Additionally, newer medicines like focused therapies and immunotherapies usually are not effectively understood, so little is understood about how pure brokers work together with them and even how these medicine work together with one another.

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Herb-Drug-Complement Interactions

Physicochemical interactions are pretty simple and are liable for bodily interactions that happen within the gastrointestinal tract leading to modifications in a drug’s bioavailability. This sort of response will be averted by dosing a fiber complement on the reverse time of day as erlotinib.

Pharmacokinetic herb-drug interactions are extra advanced as a result of they will result in elevated drug toxicity, on one hand, or decreased efficacy, on the opposite. This sort of interplay arises from concurrent use that impacts drug metabolism, distribution, and elimination. Pharmacokinetic interactions happen predominantly by way of modifications in actions of the cytochrome enzymes largely current within the liver, but in addition current in different tissues, together with the comb border of the intestines. With intravenous chemotherapy, these kinds of interactions are greatest averted by timing the appliance of herbs in home windows separated by at the very least Three half-lives away from the drug in query.24 Oral medicines current extra of an issue. In comparison with intravenous chemotherapy, oral chemotherapy brokers undergo first-pass metabolism within the liver, persist within the bloodstream, and usually tend to have drug interactions. On this explicit case, erlotinib is a significant CYP3A4 substrate and is metabolized to a lesser extent by CYP1A2 and CYP1A1.25 It additionally inhibits CYP2C9.26 Since erlotinib doesn’t act as an oxidative cytotoxic agent (the way in which most chemotherapeutic medicine work), from a sensible standpoint it’s at the very least unlikely that there are pharmacodynamic interactions to be involved about when together with antioxidants or anti-inflammatory brokers.

Musings on Curcumin

Using curcumin alongside erlotinib is controversial. In 2014, we believed curcumin shouldn’t be used with erlotinib as a result of curcumin is a possible CYP3A4 inducer that would lower circulating drug ranges. This perception was primarily based on a regarding pre-clinical examine in rats.27 Nonetheless, opinions modified in 2016 primarily based on Three newer research. The primary examine was a randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover trial through which piperine-enhanced curcuminoids produced no significant modifications in plasma Cmax, AUC, clearance, elimination half-life, or metabolite ranges of the drug-probes midazolam, flurbiprofen, or acetaminophen (α=zero.05, paired t-tests), all of that are metabolized by CYP3A, CYP2C9 and acetaminophen conjugation enzymes.28 As effectively, each an in-vitro examine29 and mouse examine30 had been revealed displaying that curcumin enhanced erlotinib’s anti-tumor exercise.


When working with most cancers sufferers, naturopathic docs are identified to mix present greatest proof, scientific expertise, and affected person preferences. On this means, standard-of-care remedy for most cancers is enhanced and sufferers will be handled individually. Using the analysis software, related analysis will be rapidly accessed and used to assist formulate affected person remedy protocols.

In Half 2 of this text, we are going to current 2 instances of sufferers with NSCLC that had been handled in an integrative method. The instances will serve to show the appliance of KNOW in scientific apply.


  1. Non-Small Cell Lung Most cancers Survival Charges, by Stage. Final revised Might 16, 2016. American Most cancers Society Site. https://www.most cancers/non-small-cell-lung-cancer/detection-diagnosis-staging/survival-rates.html. Accessed June 20, 2017.
  2. Shaw AT, Peters S, Mok T, et al. Alectinib versus crizotinib in treatment-naïve superior ALK-positive non-small cell lung most cancers (NSCLC): Major outcomes of the worldwide part III ALEX examine. [abstract LBA9008, presented at 2017 ASCO Annual Meeting]. J Clin Oncol. 2017;35(suppl; abstr LBA9008). Obtainable at: Accessed June 15, 2017.
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  5. Lissoni P, Barni S, Mandalà M, et al. Decreased toxicity and elevated efficacy of most cancers chemotherapy utilizing the pineal hormone melatonin in metastatic strong tumour sufferers with poor scientific standing. Eur J Most cancers. 1999;35(12):1688-1692.
  6. Wang SF, Wang Q, Jiao LJ, et al. Astragalus-containing Conventional Chinese language Drugs, with and with out prescription primarily based on syndrome differentiation, mixed with chemotherapy for superior non-small-cell lung most cancers: a systemic evaluation and meta-analysis. Curr Oncol. 2016;23(Three):e188-195.
  7. Gul Ok, Mehmet Ok, Meryem A. The results of oral glutamine on scientific and survival outcomes of non-small cell lung most cancers sufferers handled with chemoradiotherapy. Clin Nutr. 2017;36(Four):1022-1028.
  8. Zhao H, Zhu W, Xie P, et al. A part I examine of concurrent chemotherapy and thoracic radiotherapy with oral epigallocatechin-Three-gallate safety in sufferers with regionally superior stage III non-small-cell lung most cancers. Radiother Oncol. 2014;110(1):132-136.
  9. Tanaka Y, Takahashi T, Yamaguchi Ok, et al. Elemental weight loss program plus glutamine for the prevention of mucositis in esophageal most cancers sufferers receiving chemotherapy: a feasibility examine. Assist Care Most cancers. 2016;24(2):933-941.
  10. de Aguiar Pastore Silva J, Emilia de Souza Fabre M, Waitzberg DL. Omega-Three dietary supplements for sufferers in chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy: A scientific evaluation. Clin Nutr. 2015;34(Three):359-366.
  11. Amara S. Oral glutamine for the prevention of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy. Ann Pharmacother. 2008;42(10):1481-1485.
  12. Argyriou AA, Chroni E, Koutras A, et al. A randomized managed trial evaluating the efficacy and security of vitamin E supplementation for cover in opposition to cisplatin-induced peripheral neuropathy: last outcomes. Assist Care Most cancers. 2006;14(11):1134-1140.
  13. Tempo A, Savarese A, Picardo M, et al. Neuroprotective impact of vitamin E supplementation in sufferers handled with cisplatin J Clin Oncol. 2003;21(5):927-931.
  14. Argyriou AA, Chroni E, Koutras A, et al. Stopping paclitaxel-induced peripheral neuropathy: a part II trial of vitamin E supplementation. J Ache Symptom Handle. 2006;32(Three):237-244.
  15. Argyriou AA, Chroni E, Koutras A, et al. Vitamin E for prophylaxis in opposition to chemotherapy-induced neuropathy: a randomized managed trial. Neurology. 2005;64(1):26-31.
  16. Franconi G, Manni L, Schroder S, et al. A scientific evaluation of experimental and scientific acupuncture in chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy. Evid Based mostly Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:516916.
  17. Bar-Sela G, Tsalic M, Fried G, Goldberg H. Wheat grass juice might enhance hematological toxicity associated to chemotherapy in breast most cancers sufferers: a pilot examine. Nutr Most cancers. 2007;58(1):43-48
  18. Lissoni P, Tancini G, Barni S, et al. Remedy of most cancers chemotherapy-induced toxicity with the pineal hormone melatonin. Assist Care Most cancers. 1997;5(2):126-129.
  19. Fritz H, Kennedy DA, Ishii M, et al. Polysaccharide Ok and Coriolus versicolor extracts for lung most cancers: a scientific evaluation. Integr Most cancers Ther. 2015;14(Three):201-211.
  20. Nagashima Y, Maeda N, Yamamoto S, et al. Analysis of host high quality of life and immune perform in breast most cancers sufferers handled with mixture of adjuvant chemotherapy and oral administration of Lentinula edodes mycelia extract. Onco Targets Ther. 2013;6:853-859.
  21. Li Y, Han N, Chen Z, Li X. Systematic evaluation and meta-analysis of shenqi fuzheng and chemotherapy mixture within the remedy of breast most cancers. Bangladesh Journal of Pharmacology. 2016;11(Four):793-801.
  22. Piao BK, Wang YX, Xie GR, et al. Impression of complementary mistletoe extract remedy on high quality of life in breast, ovarian and non-small cell lung most cancers sufferers. A potential randomized managed scientific trial. Anticancer Res. 2004;24(1):303-309.
  23. Bar-Sela G, Wollner M, Hammer L, et al. Mistletoe as complementary remedy in sufferers with superior non-small-cell lung most cancers handled with carboplatin-based combos: a randomized part II examine. Eur J Most cancers. 2013;49(5):1058-1064.
  24. Seely D, Stempak D, Baruchel S. A method for controlling potential interactions between pure well being merchandise and chemotherapy: a evaluation in pediatric oncology. J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2007;29(1):32-47.
  25. Sasu-Tenkoramaa Fudin J. Drug Interactions in Most cancers Sufferers Requiring Concomitant Chemotherapy and Analgesics. Sensible Ache Administration. Might 2013. Obtainable at: cancers/chemotherapy-neuropathy/drug-interactions-cancer-patients-requiring-concomitant?web page=zero,Four. Accessed June 20, 2016.
  26. Grenader T, Gipps M, Shavit L, Gabizon A. Vital drug interplay: phenytoin toxicity as a result of erlotinib. Lung Most cancers. 2007;57(Three):404-406.
  27. Hsieh YW, Huang CY, Yang SY, et al. Oral consumption of curcumin markedly activated CYP 3A4: in vivo and ex-vivo research. Sci Rep. 2014;Four:6587.
  28. Volak LP, Hanley MJ, Masse G, et al. Impact of an natural extract containing curcumin and piperine on midazolam, flurbiprofen, and paracetamol (acetaminophen) pharmacokinetics in wholesome volunteers. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2013;75(2):450-462.
  29. Li S, Liu Z, Zhu F, et al. Curcumin lowers erlotinib resistance in non-small cell lung carcinoma cells with mutated EGF receptor. Oncol Res. 2013;21(Three):137-144.
  30. Yamauchi Y, Izumi Y, Yamamoto J, Normori H. Coadministration of erlotinib and curcumin augmentatively reduces cell viability in lung most cancers cells. Phytother Res. 2014;28(5):728-735.
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Jen Inexperienced, ND, FABNO, graduated from CCNM in 2000. In 2008, she based the Naturopathic Division at Beaumont Hospitals, and was the division head for five years. Dr Inexperienced has served on varied naturopathic boards, together with the OAND, CAND, MANP, and the Oncology Affiliation of Naturopathic Physicians. She is at the moment one of many analysis administrators of KNOW, the Data in Naturopathic Oncology Web site. Jen is at the moment in non-public apply at Emcura Integrative in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.


Dugald Seely, ND, MSc, FABNO, is a naturopathic physician, researcher, and administrator who has actively contributed since graduating from CCNM in 2003. Dr Seely serves as the chief director of Analysis & Scientific Epidemiology at CCNM. He’s additionally the founder and govt director of the Ottawa Integrative Most cancers Centre, a Fellow of the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology, and an govt board member for the Oncology Affiliation of Naturopathic Physicians. Dr Seely is a piece editor for Integrative Oncology within the journal Present Oncology, has revealed over 60 peer-reviewed papers, and incessantly presents at medical conferences world wide.


Heather Wright, ND, FABNO, is a naturopathic physician with 12 years of expertise working inside hospital-based integrative oncology groups. Dr Wright has specialised within the integrative remedy of pancreatic most cancers and has co-authored scientific trials to evaluate the good thing about pure approaches on this inhabitants. She can also be an everyday contributor to the Pure Drugs Journal and as a speaker supplies persevering with schooling to colleagues. She is President of the Oncology Affiliation of Naturopathic Physicians ( and serves as Analysis Director for, a searchable database of human scientific trials in integrative oncology. Dr Wright at the moment works at

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