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 Richter Syndrome needs to be personalized to minimize adverse interactions between nutrition (from foods/diet) and treatment, and to improve symptoms.
Foods like Cinnamon and Grape should be eaten when undergoing Doxorubicin treatment for Richter Syndrome. On the same lines, avoid foods like Bell Pepper and Common Pea with treatment of Doxorubicin for Richter Syndrome. Also, Black Seed contains an active ingredient called Thymoquinone. Thymoquinone has CYP (drug metabolizing enzyme) interactions with Doxorubicin treatment 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 Richter Syndrome.
What is Richter Syndrome?
Richter Syndrome, also known as Richter’s transformation, is a rare condition where blood cancers like chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) or small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL) is developed to a more aggressive type of blood cancer called the high-grade non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The incidence rate of this condition is only 0.17 per 1 lakh people per year in the United Kingdom. This complication is commonly diagnosed in people who are about 66 years of age, however, it can occur in people of any age. It is more commonly found in men as compared to women. Richter Syndrome has a poor prognosis. The median survival of patients with Richter Syndrome is 1 year or less.
Richter Syndrome has prevalence of certain genetic changes. Some of the genes such as MYC, TRAF3, TP53, and SETD2 are known to have genetic abnormalities in this cancer resulting in a change of function.
The genetic abnormalities found in Richter Syndrome with poor prognosis 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 Richter Syndrome. 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 Richter Syndrome 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 for this cancer with poor prognosis. 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 Richter Syndrome?
In Richter Syndrome, activation or inhibition of some of the biochemical pathways including Apoptosis, Cell Cycle, MAPK Signaling, P53 Signaling, Cell Cycle Checkpoints, DNA Repair, Amino Acid Metabolism, Vitamin D Signaling, MYC Signaling, Cancer Epigenetics and PI3K-AKT-MTOR 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 for Richter Syndrome, eating few other foods and supplements may lead to adverse interactions with the treatment or may increase the cancer progression of this disease with poor prognosis.
Example Foods to “Not Eat” and Eat with Doxorubicin treatment for Richter Syndrome
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 an example of nutrition/diet for Richter Syndrome considering only one specific treatment.
Foods to Avoid with Doxorubicin treatment
Bell Pepper : Bell Pepper contains active ingredients such as Capsaicin, Folic Acid, Isorhamnetin and others. Capsaicin interferes with the impact of Doxorubicin in this disease by activating a specific biological process called DNA Repair. Hence, avoid foods like Bell Pepper with Doxorubicin treatment for Richter Syndrome.
Common Pea : Common Pea contains active ingredients such as Folic Acid, Oleic Acid, Sinapic Acid and others. Folic Acid interferes with the impact of Doxorubicin in Richter Syndrome by activating a specific biochemical pathway called PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling. Hence, do not eat Common Pea with Doxorubicin treatment for this condition.
Foods to Eat with Doxorubicin treatment
Cinnamon : Cinnamon contains active ingredients like Vitamin E, Oleic Acid and Cinnamaldehyde. Intake of Vitamin E along with Doxorubicin treatment for Richter Syndrome causes a decrease in a specific biochemical pathway which is called PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling, and this is a very positive effect. Cinnamon hence should be eaten with Doxorubicin treatment for this condition.
Grape : Grape contains active ingredients like Vitamin E, Oleic Acid and Berberine. Intake of Vitamin E along with Doxorubicin treatment for Richter Syndrome causes a decrease in a specific biochemical pathway which is called PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling, and this is a very positive effect. Grape hence should be eaten with Doxorubicin treatment for this condition.
Should I take this Nutritional Supplement with Doxorubicin treatment?
Black Seed : Black Seed nutritional supplements contain active ingredients such as Thymoquinone which have CYP3A4 interactions with Doxorubicin treatment, and hence should not be used. Also, Black Seed supplement does not show benefit on other biochemical pathways that could improve the Doxorubicin treatment efficacy in this disease. Hence, avoid taking Black seed supplements with Doxorubicin treatment for this condition. (Ahmed A Albassam et al, Saudi Pharm J., 2018; Pius S Fasinu et al, Front Onco., 2019)
Foods to Eat After Cancer Diagnosis!
No two cancers are the same. Go beyond the common nutrition guidelines for everyone and make personalized decisions about food and supplements with confidence.
What are the Symptoms of Richter Syndrome?
In the initial stages, most cancers including Richter Syndrome may not cause any signs or symptoms. However, as the disease progresses, Richter Syndrome may start showing symptoms.
Following are some of the signs and symptoms that may be caused by this condition.
- Rapid swelling of lymph nodes
- Unexplained weight loss
- Night sweats
- Easy Bruising
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach pain due to enlarged spleen and liver
- Unexplained bleeding
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 Richter Syndrome.
What are the Treatment Options for Richter Syndrome?
The treatment for Richter Syndrome may be decided based on different factors including the subtype of the lymphoma, disease characteristics, symptoms, patient’s general health and medical history. The treatment options for Richter Syndrome include:
- Stem cell transplantation
As part of the diet, avoid including those foods and supplements that may adversely interact with the treatments for Richter Syndrome.
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/disease conditions such as Richter Syndrome.
What food you eat and which supplements you take is a decision you make. Your decision should include consideration of the cancer gene mutations, which cancer, ongoing treatments and supplements, any allergies, lifestyle information, weight, height and habits.
The nutrition planning for cancer from addon is not based on internet searches. It automates the decision making for you based on molecular science implemented by our scientists and software engineers. Irrespective of whether you care to understand the underlying biochemical molecular pathways or not - for nutrition planning for cancer that understanding is needed.
Get started NOW with your nutrition planning by answering questions on the name of cancer, genetic mutations, ongoing treatments and supplements, any allergies, habits, lifestyle, age group and gender.
Personalized Nutrition for Cancer!
Cancer changes with time. Customize and modify your nutrition based on cancer indication, treatments, lifestyle, food preferences, allergies and other factors.
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.