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What should I Eat?

is the most common question asked by cancer patients.
Choose food and nutritional supplements which reduces adverse interactions with your cancer treatment and support them.

is the most common question asked by cancer patients. Choose food and nutritional supplements which reduces adverse interactions with your cancer treatment and support them.

Get your personalized nutrition plan for cancer at 

Get your personalized nutrition plan for cancer at

Which 3 Foods to Avoid for Primary Myelofibrosis?

Mar 17, 2021

Highlights

No two cancers are the same and neither should your nutrition be. The most commonly asked question to dieticians and oncologists globally is “What Should I Eat?”. The answer is “It Depends”. It depends on the type of cancer, current treatment and supplements being taken, age, gender, BMI, lifestyle and any genetic information available. In short – the answer to “What Should I Eat” for Primary Myelofibrosis needs to be personalized to minimize adverse interactions between nutrition (from foods/diet) and treatment, and to improve symptoms.

Foods like Bamboo and Cabbage should be eaten when undergoing Ruxolitinib treatment for Primary Myelofibrosis. On the same lines, foods like Green Bean and Bell Pepper should be avoided with treatment of Ruxolitinib for Primary Myelofibrosis.  

Vitamin B3 has CYP (drug metabolizing enzyme) interactions with Ruxolitinib treatment and hence should be avoided if undergoing Ruxolitinib treatment for Primary Myelofibrosis.. 

You get the point – your nutrition needs to be personalized and it needs to be re-evaluated as soon as any of the conditions change. Create and follow a nutrition plan personalized to you to minimize adverse interactions of nutrition for cancers like Primary Myelofibrosis.



What is Primary Myelofibrosis?

Primary Myelofibrosis is a rare cancer that develops due to the build up of scar tissue in the bone marrow. The incidence rate of this cancer is only 1 per 1 lakh people per year. This cancer is commonly diagnosed in people who are over 70 years of age, however, it can occur in people of any age. It is more commonly found in Ashkenazi Jews as compared to other ethnicities.

Primary Myelofibrosis - Foods, Diet, Symptoms, Treatment

Primary Myelofibrosis has prevalence of certain genetic changes. Some of the genes such as JAK2, ASXL1, DNMT3A, and EXT1 are known to have genetic abnormalities in this cancer resulting in a change of function. 

The genetic abnormalities found in Primary Myelofibrosis can influence specific biochemical pathways to drive these cancer cells to aggressive growth and survive the ongoing treatment.  In addition, lifestyle conditions or habits like smoking, alcohol consumption and BMI (Body Mass Index) can have a big influence on the response to your physician prescribed treatments for Primary Myelofibrosis. Numerous studies have consistently shown that your nutrition/diet – both food and nutritional supplements can adversely affect the treatment or be supportive or play no role. Hence, the triangulation of Primary Myelofibrosis genomics, planned or ongoing therapies and lifestyle need to be thoroughly considered to make decisions on what foods and supplements to consider and avoid while designing diet/nutrition plan. Also, it is important to note that when any of these conditions change, like treatment or lifestyle or cancer diagnosis – it may impact the nutrition and the nutrition/diet plan for Primary Myelofibrosis nutrition may have to be redesigned.

Why Eating Right Matters for Primary Myelofibrosis?

In Primary Myelofibrosis, activation or inhibition of some of the biochemical pathways/processes including JAK-STAT, DNA Repair, PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling, Cell Cycle, C-type Lectin Receptor Signaling and Cancer Epigenetics plays an important role in driving the disease. All foods and nutritional supplements contain active ingredients which have a specific molecular action on different biochemical pathways. Hence, while the intake of certain foods and nutritional supplements as part of the diet may support a specific treatment of Primary Myelofibrosis, eating few other foods and supplements may lead to adverse interactions with the treatment or may increase the cancer progression.

Example Foods to “Not Eat” and Eat with Ruxolitinib treatment for Primary Myelofibrosis

The nutrition for cancer always depends on the type of cancer, treatments and supplements being taken (if any), age, gender, BMI, lifestyle and any genetic information available. Here we show examples of nutrition/diet for Primary Myelofibrosis considering a specific treatment.

Foods to Avoid

Green Bean : Green Bean contains active ingredients such as Folic Acid, Linolenic Acid, Astragalin and others. Folic Acid interferes with the impact of Ruxolitinib in Primary myelofibrosis by activating a specific biochemical pathway called C-type Lectin Receptor Signaling. Hence, do not eat Green Bean with Ruxolitinib treatment for Primary myelofibrosis. (Greenfeld et al., J Transl Med., 2018; Massimo Breccia et al, Ann Hematol., 2017)

Bell Pepper : Bell Pepper contains active ingredients such as Capsaicin, Linolenic Acid, Maltol and others. Capsaicin interferes with the impact of Ruxolitinib in Primary myelofibrosis by activating a specific biological process called DNA Repair. Hence, do not eat Bell Pepper with Ruxolitinib treatment for Primary myelofibrosis. (Jung-Hoon Yoon et al, Biochem Pharmacol., 2012, Greenfeld et al., J Transl Med., 2018; Massimo Breccia et al, Ann Hematol., 2017)

Foods to Eat

Bamboo :  Bamboo contains active ingredients like Tricin, Linolenic Acid and Beta-sitosterol. Intake of Tricin along with Ruxolitinib treatment for Primary Myelofibrosis causes a decrease in a specific biochemical pathway which is called JAK-STAT Signaling, and this is a very positive effect. Bamboo hence should be eaten with Ruxolitinib treatment for this cancer. (V Shalini et al, Mol Immunol., 2015; Greenfeld et al., J Transl Med., 2018; Ross L Levine et al, Hematology Am Soc Hematol Educ Program., 2006)

Cabbage : Cabbage contains active ingredients like Brassinin, Quercetin and Beta-sitosterol. Intake of Brassinin along with Ruxolitinib treatment for Primary Myelofibrosis causes a decrease in a specific biochemical pathway which is called JAK-STAT Signaling, and this is a very positive effect. Cabbage hence should be eaten with Ruxolitinib treatment for this cancer. (Jong Hyun Lee et al,  Oncotarget., 2015; Greenfeld et al., J Transl Med., 2018; Ross L Levine et al, Hematology Am Soc Hematol Educ Program., 2006)

Should I take this Nutritional Supplement for Primary Myelofibrosis?

Vitamin B3 : Vitamin B3 supplements have CYP3A4 interactions with Ruxolitinib treatment, and hence should not be used. Also, Vitamin B3 supplement does not show benefit on other biochemical pathways that could improve the Ruxolitinib treatment efficacy in Primary myelofibrosis. Hence, it is better to avoid taking Vitamin B3 supplements to stay safe while on Ruxolitinib treatment for Primary Myelofibrosis. (Cédric Gaudineau et al, Biochem Biophys Res Commun., 2004; Kenichi Umehara et al, Drug Metab Pers Ther., 2019)

Top 10 Foods and Supplements to Avoid for Cancer

Go beyond same nutrition guidelines for everyone and make personalized decisions with confidence.

What are the Symptoms of Primary Myelofibrosis?

In the initial stages, most cancers including Primary Myelofibrosis may not cause any signs or symptoms. However, as the disease progresses, it may start showing symptoms. 

Following are some of the signs and symptoms that may be caused by Primary Myelofibrosis.

  • Anemia resulting in weakness, short of breath
  • Night Sweats
  • Fever
  • Enlarged spleen leading to pain below the ribs on the left side
  • Easy bruising and bleeding
  • Bone or joint pain
  • Frequent infections

Though many of these symptoms may also be caused by various other health conditions, consult your doctor if you experience these symptoms to rule out the possible chances of Primary Myelofibrosis.

Nutrition while on Chemotherapy | Personalized to Individual's Cancer type, Lifestyle & Genetics

What are the Treatment Options for Primary Myelofibrosis?

The treatment for Primary Myelofibrosis may be decided based on different factors including the cancer characteristics, symptoms associated with the underlying conditions of Myelofibrosis, patient’s general health and medical history. 

1. The treatment options for severe anemia due to this cancer include:

  • Blood Transfusions
  • Hormone Therapy
  • Immunomodulatory Medications to improve Blood Cell Counts which may also relieve enlarged spleen

2. The treatment options for enlarged spleen due to this cancer include:

  • Surgery
  • Radiation
  • Chemotherapy
  • Targeted therapy

3. Bone Marrow Transplantation

4. Palliative Care

As part of the diet, avoid including those foods and supplements that may adversely interact with the treatments for Primary Myelofibrosis.

In Conclusion

The two most important things to remember are that cancer treatments and nutrition are never the same for everyone. Nutrition/diet which includes food and nutritional supplements is an effective tool which is controlled by you, while facing cancer such as Primary Myelofibrosis.

“What should I eat?” is the most frequently asked question to cancer dieticians and physicians. The right answer depends upon cancer type, underlying genomics, current treatments, any allergies, lifestyle information, and factors like BMI.

The addon personalized nutrition plan keeps you safe from adverse nutrition interactions.

Get started NOW with answering questions on type of cancer, current treatments, supplements, allergies, age group, gender, and lifestyle information.

Top 10 Foods and Supplements to Avoid for Cancer

Go beyond same nutrition guidelines for everyone and make personalized decisions with confidence.


Cancer patients often have to deal with different chemotherapy side effects which affect their quality of life and look out for alternative therapies for cancer. Taking the right nutrition and supplements based on scientific considerations (avoiding guesswork and random selection) is the best natural remedy for cancer and treatment related side-effects.