Home

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 Retinoblastoma?

Mar 23, 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 Retinoblastoma needs to be personalized to minimize adverse interactions between nutrition (from foods/diet) and treatment, and to improve symptoms.

Foods like Almond and Beetroot should be eaten when undergoing Cyclophosphamide treatment for Retinoblastoma. On the other hand, for Retinoblastoma, Bell Pepper and Blackberry should be eaten with treatment of Vincristine. On the same lines, foods like Cherry and Common Bean should be avoided with treatment of Cyclophosphamide for Retinoblastoma. If the treatment is Vincristine, then avoid Brussels Sprout and Caraway.

Black Seed contains an active ingredient called Thymoquinone. Thymoquinone has CYP (drug metabolizing enzyme) interactions with Cyclophosphamide and Vincristine treatments and hence should be avoided.

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 Retinoblastoma



What is Retinoblastoma?

Retinoblastoma is a rare eye cancer that develops in the retina of the eye. The incidence rate of this cancer is only 0.05 per 1 lakh people per year. This cancer is commonly diagnosed in children who are about 1-2 years old, however, it can rarely occur in children above 6 and in adults.

Retinoblastoma - symptoms, treatment diet, foods

Retinoblastoma has prevalence of certain genetic changes. Some of the genes such as RB1, CRTC1, BCOR, and ABL2 are known to have genetic abnormalities in this cancer resulting in a change of function. 

The genetic abnormalities found in Retinoblastoma 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 Retinoblastoma. 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 Retinoblastoma 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 Retinoblastoma nutrition may have to be redesigned.

Why Eating Right Matters for Retinoblastoma?

In Retinoblastoma, activation or inhibition of some of the biochemical pathways including Hypoxia, Cancer Epigenetics, RAS-RAF Signaling, DNA Repair, PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling and Cell Cycle 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 Retinoblastoma, 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 Cyclophosphamide treatment for Retinoblastoma

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 changes in nutrition/diet for Retinoblastoma considering only the treatment changes.

Foods to Avoid

Cherry and Common Bean : Cherry and Common Bean contain active ingredients such as Genistein, Oleic Acid, and others. Genistein interferes with the impact of Cyclophosphamide in Retinoblastoma by activating a specific biological process called DNA Repair. Hence, do not eat Cherry and Common Bean with Cyclophosphamide treatment for Retinoblastoma. (Drikos I et al, J Neoplasm. Vol.2 No.2:6, 2017; Jiaxue Wu et al, Protein Cell., 2010; S Fan et al, Br J Cancer., 2006; Julie Devin et al, Blood, 2020, 136 (Supplement 1): 26; Ali Varan et al, Pediatr Hematol Oncol., 2012)

Foods to Eat

Almond and Beetroot:  Almond and Beetroot contain active ingredients like Vitamin E, Oleic Acid and others. Intake of Vitamin E along with Cyclophosphamide treatment for Retinoblastoma causes a decrease in a specific biological process which is called Cell Cycle, and this is a very positive effect.  Almond and Beetroot hence should be eaten with Cyclophosphamide treatment for Retinoblastoma. (Pamela J Hodul et al, PLoS One., 2013; A Ghelli Luserna di Rora et al, J Hematol Oncol., 2017; Ali Varan et al, Pediatr Hematol Oncol., 2012)

Should I take this Nutritional Supplement for Retinoblastoma?

Black Seed : Black Seed nutritional supplements contain active ingredients such as Thymoquinone which have CYP3A4 and CYP2C9 interactions with Cyclophosphamide treatment, and hence should not be used. Also, Black Seed supplement does not show benefit on other biochemical pathways that could improve the Cyclophosphamide treatment efficacy in Retinoblastoma. (Ahmed A Albassam et al, Saudi Pharm J., 2018; Priya P Gor et al, Breast Cancer Res., 2010; Ali Varan et al, Pediatr Hematol Oncol., 2012)

Example Foods to “Not Eat” and Eat with Vincristine treatment for Retinoblastoma

Foods to Avoid

Brussels Sprout : Brussels Sprout contains active ingredients such as Folic Acid, Oleic Acid, Linoleic Acid and others. Folic Acid interferes with the impact of Vincristine in Retinoblastoma by activating a specific biochemical pathway called PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling. Hence, do not eat Brussels Sprout with Vincristine treatment for Retinoblastoma. (Seong Yeon Hwang et al, Int J Mol Med., 2015; Xia Xie et al, Oncol Rep., 2013; Carlos Rodriguez-Galindo et al, J Clin Oncol., 2003)

Caraway : Caraway contains active ingredients such as Folic Acid, Myristicin, D-limonene and others. As mentioned above, Folic Acid interferes with the impact of Vincristine in Retinoblastoma by activating a specific biochemical pathway called PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling. Hence, do not eat Caraway with Vincristine treatment for Retinoblastoma. (Seong Yeon Hwang et al, Int J Mol Med., 2015; Xia Xie et al, Oncol Rep., 2013; Carlos Rodriguez-Galindo et al, J Clin Oncol., 2003)

Foods to Eat

Bell Pepper :  Bell Pepper contains active ingredients like Vitamin E, Capsaicin, Oleic Acid. Intake of Vitamin E along with Vincristine treatment for Retinoblastoma causes a decrease  in a specific biological process which is called Cell Cycle, and this is a very positive effect.  Bell Pepper hence should be eaten with Vincristine treatment for Retinoblastoma. (Pamela J Hodul et al, PLoS One., 2013; Yue Tu et al, Int J Mol Med., 2013; Carlos Rodriguez-Galindo et al, J Clin Oncol., 2003)

Blackberry :  Blackberry contains active ingredients like Hyperoside, Ellagic Acid, Scopoletin. Intake of Hyperoside along with Vincristine treatment for Retinoblastoma causes a decrease  in a specific biological process which is called Cell Cycle, and this is a very positive effect.  Blackberry hence should be eaten with Vincristine treatment for Retinoblastoma. (Ning Zhang et al, PLoS One., 2014; Yue Tu et al, Int J Mol Med., 2013; Carlos Rodriguez-Galindo et al, J Clin Oncol., 2003)

Should I take this Nutritional Supplement for Retinoblastoma?

Black Seed : Black Seed nutritional supplements contain active ingredients such as Thymoquinone which have CYP3A4 Interactions with Vincristine treatment, and hence should not be used. Also, Black Seed supplement does not show benefit on other biochemical pathways that could improve the Vincristine treatment efficacy in Retinoblastoma. (Ahmed A Albassam et al, Saudi Pharm J., 2018; Marija Bosilkovska et al, Clin Ther., 2016; Carlos Rodriguez-Galindo et al, J Clin Oncol., 2003)

Science of Right Personalized Nutrition for Cancer

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 Retinoblastoma?

In some cases, Retinoblastoma may not cause any signs or symptoms. However, most often, Retinoblastoma may show certain signs and symptoms. 

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

  • White colored pupil when light flashes in the eye
  • Swelling in the eye
  • Redness in the eye
  • Enlarged pupil
  • Eyes that appear to be looking in different directions- towards ear or nose

Though many of these symptoms may also be caused by various other health conditions, consult your doctor if your kid experiences these symptoms to rule out the possible chances of Retinoblastoma.

What are the Treatment Options for Retinoblastoma?

The treatment for Retinoblastoma may be decided based on different factors including the type and stage of the cancer, cancer characteristics, symptoms, possible side-effects, patient’s general health and medical history. The treatment options for Retinoblastoma include:

  • Surgery
  • Radiotherapy
  • Cryotherapy
  • Laser therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Bone marrow transplantation – especially for Stage IV extraocular retinoblastoma

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

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 Retinoblastoma.

“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.