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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 Acral Melanoma?

Mar 24, 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 Acral Melanoma needs to be personalized to minimize adverse interactions between nutrition (from foods/diet) and treatment, and to improve symptoms.

Foods like Aloe Vera and Cucumber should be eaten when undergoing Checkpoint PDL1 treatment for Acral Melanoma. On the other hand, for Acral Melanoma, Almond and Apple should be eaten with treatment of Vemurafenib. On the same lines, foods like Caraway and Cherry should be avoided with treatment of Checkpoint PDL1 for Acral Melanoma. If the treatment is Vemurafenib, then avoid Amaranth and Anise.

Black Seed contains an active ingredient called Thymoquinone. Thymoquinone has known CYP (drug metabolizing enzyme) interactions with Vemurafenib treatment, but not with Checkpoint PDL1 treatment. Hence, Black seed supplements may be consumed when undergoing Checkpoint PDL1 treatment for Acral Melanoma. However, Black seed supplements should be avoided if the treatment is Vemurafenib.

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 Acral Melanoma.



What is Acral Melanoma?

Acral Melanoma is a rare type of skin cancer that appears on the palms of the hands, the soles of the feet, or under the nails. The incidence rate of this cancer is only 1.8 per million people per year. This cancer is commonly diagnosed in people who are about 62.8 years of age, however, it can occur in people of any age. It is more commonly found in Hispanic whites as compared to Asian/Pacific Islanders.

Acral Melanoma - Symptoms, Treatment, Diet, Foods

Acral Melanoma has prevalence of certain genetic changes. Some of the genes such as NRAS, LRP1B, DCC, and SYNE1 are known to have genetic abnormalities in this cancer resulting in a change of function. 

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

Why Eating Right Matters for Acral Melanoma?

In Acral Melanoma, activation or inhibition of some of the biochemical pathways including PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling, Adherens Junction, RAS-RAF Signaling, Oxidative Stress, DNA Repair, MHC Class I Antigen Presentation, Growth Factor Signaling, MAPK Signaling, Angiogenesis, CD8 T-cell Activation, Wnt Betacatenin Signaling, MYC Signaling and Epithelial To Mesenchymal Transition 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 Acral Melanoma, 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 Checkpoint PDL1 treatment for Acral Melanoma

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 Acral Melanoma considering only the treatment changes.

Foods to Avoid

Caraway : Caraway contains active ingredients such as Caffeic Acid, Myrcene, Linolenic Acid and others. Caffeic Acid interferes with the impact of Checkpoint PDL1 in Acral Melanoma by blocking a specific biological process called CD8 T-cell Activation. Hence, do not eat Caraway with Checkpoint PDL1 treatment for Acral Melanoma. (Nieves Márquez et al, J Pharmacol Exp Ther., 2004; Zhichen Sun et al, Nat Commun., 2019; Lukas W Pfannenstiel et al, Cancer Immunol Res., 2019; Nicholas D Klemen et al, J Immunother Cancer., 2020)

Cherry : Cherry contains active ingredients such as Beta-sitosterol, Isorhamnetin, Citric Acid and others. Beta-sitosterol interferes with the impact of Checkpoint PDL1 in Acral Melanoma by blocking a specific biological process called MHC Class I antigen presentation. Hence, do not eat Cherry with Checkpoint PDL1 treatment for Acral Melanoma. (Ibrahim Halil Erdogdu, Gastroenterol Res Pract., 2019; Nicholas D Klemen et al, J Immunother Cancer., 2020)

Foods to Eat

Aloe Vera :  Aloe Vera contains active ingredients like Lupeol, Barbaloin and Acemannan. Intake of Lupeol along with Checkpoint PDL1 treatment for Acral Melanoma causes a decrease  in a specific biochemical pathway which is called  PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling, and this is a very positive effect.  Aloe Vera hence should be eaten with Checkpoint PDL1 treatment for Acral Melanoma. (Lingli Zhang et al, Eur J Pharmacol., 2015; Alexandra M Haugh et al, J Invest Dermatol., 2018; Nicholas D Klemen et al, J Immunother Cancer., 2020)

Cucumber :  Cucumber contains active ingredients like Lupeol, Salicylic Acid and Oleic Acid. As mentioned before, the intake of Lupeol along with Checkpoint PDL1 treatment for Acral Melanoma causes a decrease  in a specific biochemical pathway which is called  PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling, and this is a very positive effect.  Cucumber hence should be eaten with Checkpoint PDL1 treatment for Acral Melanoma. (Lingli Zhang et al, Eur J Pharmacol., 2015; Alexandra M Haugh et al, J Invest Dermatol., 2018; Nicholas D Klemen et al, J Immunother Cancer., 2020)

Should I take this Nutritional Supplement for Acral Melanoma?

Black Seed : Black Seed supplements contain active ingredients like thymoquinone, carvacrol and others which have no known reported CYP (drug metabolizing enzyme) interactions with Checkpoint PDL1 treatment. Black Seed supports the Checkpoint PDL1 treatment for Acral Melanoma by decreasing the biochemical pathways/processes called JAK-STAT Signaling, Macrophage M2, Myeloid-derived Suppressor Cells, MYC Signaling, PDL1 Expression, PDL2 Expression, PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling, Angiogenesis, T-Regulatory Cell Differentiation, WNT Betacatenin Signaling and increasing processes like Dendritic Cell Maturation. (Yun Luo et al, Oxid Med Cell Longev., 2016; Esfandiar Heidarian et al, Int J Prev Med., 2019; Iva Potočnjak et al, Phytother Res., 2018; Andrew J Wilson et al, Mol Cancer., 2015; Tingfang Yi et al, Mol Cancer Ther., 2008; A G M Mostofa et al, Front Pharmacol., 2017)

Example Foods to “Not Eat” and Eat with Vemurafenib treatment for Acral Melanoma

Foods to Avoid

Amaranth : Amaranth contains active ingredients such as Beta-sitosterol, Lutein, Oleic Acid and others. Beta-sitosterol interferes with the impact of Vemurafenib in Acral Melanoma by activating a specific biological process called Oxidative Stress. Hence, do not eat Amaranth with Vemurafenib treatment for Acral Melanoma. (Liqin Wang et al, Cell., 2018; Atif B Awad et al, Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids., 2005; Hee Kyung Kim et al, Transl Oncol., 2016)

Anise : Anise contains active ingredients such as Apigenin, Cynaroside, Estragole and others. Apigenin interferes with the impact of Vemurafenib in Acral Melanoma by activating a specific biological process called DNA Repair. Hence, do not eat Anise with Vemurafenib treatment for Acral Melanoma. (Haripaul Sharma et al, PLoS One., 2014; Elena Makino et al, Cell Death Dis., 2020; Hee Kyung Kim et al, Transl Oncol., 2016)

Foods to Eat

Almond :  Almond contains active ingredients like Vitamin E, Salicylic Acid and Oleic Acid. Intake of Vitamin E along with Vemurafenib treatment for Acral Melanoma causes a decrease  in a specific biochemical pathway which is called  RAS-RAF Signaling, and this is a very positive effect.  Almond hence should be eaten with Vemurafenib treatment for Acral Melanoma. (Wenguang Sun et al, Br J Nutr., 2008; Ufuk Degirmenci et al, Cells., 2020; Hee Kyung Kim et al, Transl Oncol., 2016)

Apple :  Apple contains active ingredients like Modified Citrus Pectin, Rutin and Estragole. Intake of Modified Citrus Pectin along with Vemurafenib treatment for Acral Melanoma causes a decrease  in a specific biochemical pathway which is called  RAS-RAF Signaling, and this is a very positive effect.  Apple hence should be eaten with Vemurafenib treatment for this cancer. (A Menachem et al, Cell Death Discov., 2015; Ufuk Degirmenci et al, Cells., 2020; Hee Kyung Kim et al, Transl Oncol., 2016)

Should I take this Nutritional Supplement for Acral Melanoma?

Black Seed : Black Seed nutritional supplements contain active ingredients such as Thymoquinone which have CYP3A4 interactions with Vemurafenib treatment, and hence should not be used. Also, Black Seed supplement interferes with the impact of Vemurafenib in Acral Melanoma by increasing processes like DNA Repair. (Ahmed A Albassam et al, Saudi Pharm J., 2018; Weijiang Zhang et al, Clin Pharmacokinet., 2017)

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What are the Symptoms of Acral Melanoma?

As the disease progresses, Acral Melanoma may start showing symptoms. 

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

  • a raised, thick patch on the palm or sole
  • a dark spot or area of pigmentation on palms or soles
  • a growth on the foot or hand that is changing, with an unusual color
  • pain when walking
  • an unexplained, usually dark line/streak/stripe across the nail
  • a nail streak that damaged the fingernail

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 Acral Melanoma.

What are the Treatment Options for Acral Melanoma?

The treatment for Acral Melanoma may be decided based on different factors including the stage and extent of spread of the cancer, cancer characteristics, symptoms, patient’s general health and medical history, whether the cancer can be removed completely by surgery and whether the cancer was just diagnosed or had come back. The treatment options for Acral Melanoma include:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • BRAF inhibitors

Surgery or surgery followed by radiation is the most common treatment regimen for Acral Melanoma. Radiotherapy helps to shrink the tumor. The primary role of chemotherapy is in the treatment of metastatic disease. As part of the diet, avoid including those foods and supplements that may adversely interact with the treatments for Acral Melanoma.

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 Acral Melanoma.

“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.