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Cancer, intravenous fluids, and ketogenic diets

by 10 · December 19, 2012 9:58 PM

Hello, I am in urgent need of information. Someone I know is trying to supplement their chemotherapy with a ketogenic diet in order to starve the tumor of glucose during treatment. The doctors have hooked up a saline solution that is 5% dextrose, which can provide as much as 120 g of dextrose per day. They cannot find anyone who will explain why this dextrose is necessary to the chemotherapy but the nurses and interns keep insisting it is. In all the literature I can find on ketogenic diets used in cancer treatment it seems that usually no more than 70 g of carbohydrate is consumed per day. Does anyone know why it is necessary to have this dextrose? I found a website which was not an official scientific source saying that 5% dextrose was just for nutritional purposes and not having anything to do with physiology/drug interaction. Does anyone know of any references which talk about this?

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2715 · July 04, 2012 8:15 PM

Actually, this is a legit solution for administering chemo. Cancer cells have 10X the number of insulin receptors, therefore they uptake 10X the poison (chemo), targeting the cancer cells more effecively. That is probably the only time I can think of to boost insulin that way.

When chemo is NOT being administered, then DEFINITELY go ketogenic.

Note: I'm a cancer survivor who learned how to live (eat, excercise, rest) to prevent cancer and then later found out that paleo matched up almost perfectly.

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4086 · July 04, 2012 9:39 PM

I am currently receiving chemo (cisplatin and topotecan). I just get saline, no glucose. I do receive one sugar drip, but it acts as a diuretic (I am told to protect my kidneys) along with the 2 L of saline I get since the platinum drugs can cause kidney damage.

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20762 · October 24, 2012 6:56 PM

Yeah, I didn't get any glucose in my drip (etoposide and cisplatnin for me), but this is one area where I wouldn't question what they're doing. I totally wish I knew about keto diets and such when I was going through treatment, I would have done that. They (the medical establishment) are not well educated in terms of nutrition; however, you can bet that the scientists who devised the treatment took into account all of the variables and that having that dextrose drip in conjunction with the chemo is necessary for that particular treatment. I'm sure in some academic paper somewhere you can find out that that outcomes were significantly better with the dextrose than without.

Outside of the infusions you can focus on a good keto diet to starve the tumor; but I'd trust the infusion chemistry.

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10 · December 19, 2012 9:58 PM

I originally posted this question. It turned out that the dextrose was not necessary, though the patient was repeatedly told by nurses and doctors that it was (with no consistent scientific explanation just "we are doing what the manual says"). Eventually a different doctor from the oncology team came in (on the third round of treatment) and took the dextrose away, replacing with normal saline due to the patient's constant criticisms of this sugar drip and that no one was explaining the necessity of it to them properly. It was for purely nutritional purposes. It was the ignorance of the doctors and nurses that let this happen and probably at least part of the reason chemotherapy works in so few cases. There are scientific papers out there in respectable journals which discuss the need to cease using dextrose saline for cancer patients. It is characteristic of the oncology world that the metabolism of cancer cells is disregarded and all the focus is put on identifying certain genes that could be mutated.

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0 · October 24, 2012 6:01 PM

I am new to this forum and do not know if I can get in touch with Anon (who beat cancer with a ketogenic diet) directly. I am trying to save my mom. Can I find out more about what you did to help yourself, and the challenges you faced implementing this diet?

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6629 · July 04, 2012 7:31 PM

There is no reason for the DEXTROSE solution to be administered. Tell them to take it out. ITS the patients CHOICE. Make sure this person is getting down some fat/protein and not starving.

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