Nutritional supplements like Cissus have many health benefits and are being widely used by cancer patients and those at-genetic-risk of cancer. But, is it safe to take Cissus supplements for all types of cancer and without considering any ongoing treatments and other lifestyle conditions? A common belief but only a myth is that anything natural can only benefit me or do no harm. As one example, the use of grapefruit with certain medications is not recommended. Another example, the use of spinach with some blood thinning medications can cause adverse interactions and should be avoided. For cancer, nutrition which includes the food and natural supplements has been shown to influence outcomes. Hence a frequently asked question by cancer patients to dieticians and doctors is “What Should I eat and What Should I Avoid?”.
Taking nutritional Cissus supplements can benefit cancer patients with Renal Non-Clear Cell Carcinoma on Bevacizumab treatment. But avoid Cissus supplements if on Carmustine treatment for Pineoblastoma. Similarly, taking nutritional supplement Cissus can benefit healthy individuals who are at genetic risk of cancer due to mutation of gene KIT. But avoid taking nutritional supplement Cissus when at genetic risk of cancer due to mutation of gene MRE11.
The takeaway being – your individual context will influence your decision if nutritional supplement Cissus is safe or not. And also that this decision needs to be constantly revisited as conditions change. Conditions like cancer type, current ongoing treatments and supplements, age, gender, weight, height, lifestyle and any genetic mutations identified matter. So a legitimate question for you to ask for any recommendation of food and natural supplement is how it is related to your individual context.
Nutritional supplements – vitamins, herbs, minerals, probiotics, and other specialty categories are increasing. Supplements are high concentrations of active ingredients which are also found in different foods. The difference being foods contain more than one active ingredient at lower diffused concentrations. Remember that each of these ingredients has its own science and biological mechanism at molecular level – hence choose the right combination of supplements like Cissus based on individual context and conditions.
So the question is should you take the supplement Cissus? Should you take it when at genetic risk of cancer for mutation of gene MRE11? Should you take it when at genetic risk of cancer for mutation of gene KIT? Should you take it when diagnosed with Pineoblastoma? Should you take Cissus supplement when diagnosed with Renal Non-Clear Cell Carcinoma? Should you take it when on Carmustine treatment? Should you continue taking Cissus supplements if you change your treatment from Carmustine to Bevacizumab? So a general explanation like – it is natural or it increases immunity may not be acceptable and sufficient for choosing Cissus.
Cancer remains an unsolved problem statement. The improved availability of personalized treatments and monitoring of cancer via blood and saliva have been significant factors to improve outcomes. The earlier the intervention – the better the influence on outcome. Genetic testing has the potential to assess cancer risk and susceptibility early. But besides regular monitoring in most cases there are no therapeutic intervention options available. After diagnosis with cancer such as Pineoblastoma or Renal Non-Clear Cell Carcinoma, the treatments get personalized to tumor genomics and factors like staging of disease, age and gender. During cancer remission (after treatment cycle is complete) – monitoring is used for assessment of any relapse and accordingly decide next steps. A large majority of cancer patients and those at-risk do take nutritional supplements like Cissus.
So the question is that are all genetic mutation risks and types of cancers to be considered as one when deciding the use of Cissus? Are the biochemical pathway implications of genetic risk for cancer due to mutation of gene MRE11 the same as due to mutation of gene KIT? Are the implications of taking Cissus supplement in Pineoblastoma the same as Renal Non-Clear Cell Carcinoma? Is it one and the same if you are on treatment with Carmustine or on Bevacizumab?
Cissus – A Nutritional Supplement
Cissus (Cissus quadrangularis) also known as Veldt Grape, Devil’s backbone, Adamant Creeper, Asthisamharaka or Asthisamhara, Hadjod and Pirandai, is a plant from the grape family, native to Asia, Middle East and Africa. Cissus has been traditionally used for various health conditions. Following are some of the potential health benefits of Cissus:
- May help in the management of weight loss and metabolic syndrome (Julius Oben et al, Lipids Health Dis., 2006)
- May help improve bone health (Nimisha Singh et al, Natl J Maxillofac Surg., 2013)
- May help reduce joint pain (Richard J Bloomer et al, Phys Sportsmed., 2013)
However, excess intake may lead to certain side effects in some people including bloating, headache, diarrhea, sleeplessness and dry mouth. Cissus supplements contain many active ingredients including Beta-sitosterol, Daidzein Quercetin, Resveratrol and Genistein at different concentration levels. The molecular pathways which are regulated by Cissus include DNA Repair, Extracellular Matrix Remodelling, Estrogen Signaling, Stem Cell Signaling and Cancer Epigenetics. These cellular pathways directly or indirectly regulate specific cancer molecular endpoints like growth, spread and death. Because of this biological regulation – for cancer nutrition, the right choice of supplements like Cissus individually or in combination is an important decision to be made. When making decisions on the use of supplement Cissus for cancer – do consider all these factors and explanations. Because just as true for cancer treatments – Cissus use cannot be a one-size-fits-all decision for all types of cancers.
Choosing Cissus Supplements for Your Cancer
The reason there is no easy way to answer the question “When should I avoid Cissus for Cancer” is because “It Depends!”. Just like the same treatment does not work for every cancer patient, based on your individual context the Cissus may be harmful or safe. Along with which cancer and associated genetics – the ongoing treatments, supplements, lifestyle habits, BMI and allergies are all factors deciding if Cissus should be avoided or not and why.
1. Will Cissus Supplements benefit Cancer Patients with Pineoblastoma undergoing Carmustine treatment?
Pineoblastoma is characterized and driven by specific genetic mutations like ATR and ATM leading to biochemical pathway changes in DNA Repair, Cancer Epigenetics, EPHRIN Signaling and PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling. A cancer treatment like Carmustine works through a specific pathway mechanism of action. The goal is to have a good overlap between the treatment and cancer driving pathways for a personalized approach which is effective. In such a condition any food or nutritional supplement which has a contrary effect to the treatment or reduces the overlap should be avoided. As an example, Cissus should be avoided for Pineoblastoma along with treatment Carmustine. Cissus impacts pathways/processes like DNA Repair and Cancer Epigenetics which either promote drivers of the disease and/or nullify the treatment effect. Additionally, Cissus supplements contain many active ingredients like Quercetin and Resveratrol which have CYP1A2 (drug metabolizing enzyme) interactions with Carmustine treatment, and hence should be avoided by patients undergoing this treatment. (Jian Xiao et al, Biomed Res Int., 2014; H-H Sherry Chow et al, Cancer Prev Res (Phila)., 2010; Brett Glotzbecker, Biol Blood Marrow Transplant., 2012) Some of the factors which should be considered when choosing nutrition are type of cancer, treatments and supplements being taken currently (if any), age, gender, BMI, lifestyle and any genetic mutation information (if available).
2. Will Cissus Supplements benefit Cancer Patients with Renal Non-Clear Cell Carcinoma undergoing Bevacizumab Treatment?
Renal Non-Clear Cell Carcinoma is characterized and driven by specific genetic mutations like MUC16 and TP53 leading to biochemical pathway changes in Extracellular Matrix Remodelling, Focal Adhesion, TGFB Signaling, Small Molecule Transport and PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling. A cancer treatment like Bevacizumab works through specific pathway mechanisms. The goal is to have a good overlap between the treatment and cancer driving pathways for a personalized approach. In such a condition any food or nutritional supplement which has a compatible effect to the treatment or reduces the overlap should be considered. As an example, Cissus supplements should be considered for Renal Non-Clear Cell Carcinoma along with treatment Bevacizumab. Cissus supplement impacts pathways/processes like Extracellular Matrix Remodelling and Focal Adhesion which either obstruct drivers of Renal Non-Clear Cell Carcinoma and/or improve Bevacizumab treatment effect.
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.
3. Are Cissus Supplements Safe for Healthy Individuals with MRE11 Mutation Associated Genetic Risk?
Different companies offer panels of genes to be tested for assessing genetic risk to different cancers. These panels cover genes associated with cancers of the breast, ovary, uterus, prostate, and gastrointestinal system and others. Genetic testing of these genes may confirm a diagnosis and help guide treatment and management decisions. Identification of a disease-causing variant may also guide testing and diagnosis of at-risk relatives. MRE11 is one of the genes generally available in panels for cancer risk testing.
MRE11 mutation causes biochemical pathways/processes like Estrogen Signaling, DNA Repair, Stem Cell Signaling, Interferon Signaling and Angiogenesis to get impacted. These pathways are direct or indirect drivers of cancer molecular endpoints. Cissus should be avoided when the genetic panel identifies mutation of MRE11 for Breast Cancer. Cissus impacts pathways/processes like Estrogen Signaling and DNA Repair and creates adverse effects with MRE11 and related conditions.
4. Are Cissus Supplements Safe for Healthy Individuals with KIT Mutation Associated Genetic Risk?
KIT is one of the genes available in panels for cancer risk testing. KIT mutation causes biochemical pathways/processes like Stem Cell Signaling, PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling, RUNX Signaling, JAK-STAT Signaling and RAS-RAF Signaling to get impacted. These pathways are direct or indirect drivers of cancer molecular endpoints. Consider taking Cissus supplement when the genetic panel identifies mutation in KIT for Gastric Cancer and Hematological Cancer. Cissus impacts pathways/processes like Stem Cell Signaling and PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling and creates a supportive effect in those with KIT mutation and related conditions.
* Other Factors are also included like BMI, Treatments, Lifestyle Habits
The two most important things to remember are that cancer treatments and nutrition are never the same for everyone. Nutrition, which includes food and nutritional supplements like Cissus, is an effective tool which can be controlled by you, while facing cancer.
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.