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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 Pilocytic Astrocytoma?

Apr 6, 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 Pilocytic Astrocytoma needs to be personalized to minimize adverse interactions between nutrition (from foods/diet) and treatment, and to improve symptoms.

Foods like Blueberry and Cabbage should be eaten when undergoing Temozolomide treatment for Pilocytic Astrocytoma. On the other hand, for Pilocytic Astrocytoma, Cinnamon and Cowpea should be eaten with treatment of Radiation. On the same lines, foods like Buttermilk and Chili Pepper should be avoided with treatment of Temozolomide for Pilocytic Astrocytoma. If the treatment is Radiation, then avoid Amaranth and Barley.

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 Pilocytic Astrocytoma.



What is Pilocytic Astrocytoma?

Pilocytic Astrocytoma is a rare cancer that develops from the star-shaped cells called astrocytes that form the supportive tissue of the brain. Unlike anaplastic astrocytoma, this tumor grows very slowly. The incidence rate of this cancer is only 0.33 per 1 lakh people per year. This cancer is commonly diagnosed in children who are about 13 years of age and young adults, however, it can occur in people of any age. It is more commonly found in White population as compared to Black population.

Pilocytic astrocytoma - symptoms, treatment, diet, foods

Pilocytic Astrocytoma has prevalence of certain genetic changes. Some of the genes such as KIAA1549-BRAF, BRAF, FGFR1, and NF1 are known to have genetic abnormalities in this cancer resulting in a change of function. 

The genetic abnormalities found in Pilocytic Astrocytoma 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 Pilocytic Astrocytoma. 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 Pilocytic Astrocytoma 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 this cancer may have to be redesigned.

Why Eating Right Matters for Pilocytic Astrocytoma?

In Pilocytic Astrocytoma, activation or inhibition of some of the biochemical pathways including RAS-RAF Signaling, PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling, C-type Lectin Receptor Signaling, MYC Signaling and MAPK Signaling 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 Pilocytic Astrocytoma, 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 Temozolomide treatment for Pilocytic Astrocytoma

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 Pilocytic Astrocytoma considering only the treatment changes.

Foods to Avoid

Buttermilk : Buttermilk contains active ingredients such as Lauric Acid, Myristic Acid, Retinol and others. Lauric Acid interferes with the impact of Temozolomide in Pilocytic Astrocytoma by activating a specific biochemical pathway called PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling. Hence, do not take Buttermilk with Temozolomide treatment for this cancer. (Joo Y Lee et al, J Biol Chem., 2003; Ronald P Mensink et al, m J Clin Nutr., 2003; D M Rocha et al, Atherosclerosis., 2016; Yingying Meng et al, J Agric Food Chem., 2017; Ezekiel Maloney et al, Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol., 2009; Congxin Dai et al, Endocrinology., 2013; Erika F Rodriguez et al, Acta Neuropathol., 2011)

Chili Pepper : Chili Pepper contains active ingredients such as Capsaicin, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and others. Capsaicin interferes with the impact of Temozolomide in Pilocytic Astrocytoma by activating a specific biochemical pathway called MAPK Signaling. Hence, do not eat Chili Pepper with Temozolomide treatment for this cancer. (S M Sweitzer et al, Pain., 2004; Peng Xu et al, Biomed Pharmacother., 2018; David T W Jones et al, Cell Mol Life Sci., 2012)

Foods to Eat

Blueberry and Cabbage :  Blueberry and Cabbage contain active ingredients like Delphinidin, Pelargonidin, Quercetin. Intake of Delphinidin along with Temozolomide treatment for Pilocytic Astrocytoma causes a decrease  in a specific biochemical pathway which is called  PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling, and this is a very positive effect.  Blueberry and Cabbage hence should be eaten with Temozolomide treatment for this cancer. (Mun-Hyeon Kim et al, Oncol Rep., 2017; Congxin Dai et al, Endocrinology., 2013; Erika F Rodriguez et al, Acta Neuropathol., 2011)

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Should I take this Nutritional Supplement for Pilocytic Astrocytoma?

Vitamin B2 : Vitamin B2 nutritional supplements have no interactions with Temozolomide treatment. Also, Vitamin B2 supplement does not show benefit on other biochemical pathways that could improve the Temozolomide treatment efficacy in Pilocytic Astrocytoma. Hence, do not take Vitamin B2 supplements with Temozolomide treatment for Pilocytic Astrocytoma.

Example Foods to “Not Eat” and Eat with Radiation treatment for Pilocytic Astrocytoma

Foods to Avoid

Amaranth and Barley: Amaranth and Barley contain active ingredients such as Folic Acid, Vitamin C and others. Folic Acid interferes with the impact of Radiation in Pilocytic Astrocytoma by activating a specific biochemical pathway called RAS-RAF Signaling. Hence, do not eat Amaranth and Barley with Radiation treatment for this cancer. (B D Cowley Jr et al, J Biol Chem., 1989;  W Y Tang et al, Oncol Rep., 2004; Fida Khater et al, Oncogene., 2019; K Müller et al, Strahlenther Onkol., 2013)

Foods to Eat

Cinnamon :  Cinnamon contains active ingredients like Protocatechuic Acid, Trans-trans-farnesol, Acetyleugenol. Intake of Protocatechuic Acid along with Radiation treatment for Pilocytic Astrocytoma causes a decrease  in a specific biochemical pathway which is called  RAS-RAF Signaling, and this is a very positive effect. Cinnamon hence should be eaten with Radiation treatment for this cancer. (Hui-Hsuan Lin et al, Br J Pharmacol., 2011; Fida Khater et al, Oncogene., 2019; K Müller et al, Strahlenther Onkol., 2013)

Cowpea :  Cowpea contains active ingredients like Delphinidin, Quercetin, P-coumaric Acid. Intake of Delphinidin along with Radiation treatment for Pilocytic Astrocytoma causes a decrease  in a specific biochemical pathway which is called  RAS-RAF Signaling, and this is a very positive effect. Cowpea hence should be eaten with Radiation treatment for this cancer. (Deeba N Syed et al, Toxicol Appl Pharmacol., 2008; Fida Khater et al, Oncogene., 2019; K Müller et al, Strahlenther Onkol., 2013)

Should I take this Nutritional Supplement for Pilocytic Astrocytoma?

Vitamin B2 : Vitamin B2 nutritional supplements have no interactions with Radiation treatment. Also, Vitamin B2 supplement does not show benefit on other biochemical pathways that could improve the Radiation treatment efficacy in Pilocytic Astrocytoma. Hence, do not take Vitamin B2 supplements with Radiation treatment for this cancer.

Top 10 Foods and Supplements to Avoid for Cancer

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What are the Symptoms of Pilocytic Astrocytoma?

In the initial stages, most cancers including Pilocytic Astrocytoma may not cause any signs or symptoms. However, as the disease progresses and the tumor starts growing, it may increase the pressure within the skull and may start showing symptoms. 

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

  • seizures
  • headaches especially in the morning
  • nausea
  • frequent vomiting
  • loss of balance or uncoordinated movement
  • irritability
  • vision problem 
  • weight gain or loss
  • changes in behavior
  • confusion
  • premature puberty
  • sleepiness

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 Pilocytic Astrocytoma.

What are the Treatment Options for Pilocytic Astrocytoma?

The treatment for Pilocytic Astrocytoma 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 Pilocytic Astrocytoma include:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Steroids to relieve specific symptoms
  • Targeted Therapy
  • Immunotherapy

Surgery or surgery followed by radiation is the most common treatment regimen for Pilocytic Astrocytoma. 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 Pilocytic Astrocytoma.

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 Pilocytic Astrocytoma.

“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.