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Cancer, intravenous fluids, and ketogenic diets

by (10)
Updated about 7 hours ago
Created July 04, 2012 at 6:23 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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6709 · July 05, 2012 at 1:27 AM

I almost deleted this moronic comment. They are giving DEXTROSE, you are talking about insulin receptors, pull your head out of your ass and get a fn clue as to what you are talking about before posting BS.

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2751 · July 04, 2012 at 11:18 PM

The whole paleo/natural food/low carb/no (or very little) sugar/avoid PUFA/excercise hard is the way to go. Ketogenic/low carb is excellent for autophagy, from what I read, but once the system is broken, you have to do the required chemo and all that goes with it. I'd say to go with the dextrose in the IV during chemo, and no sugar the rest of her life! Also, go out for a walk everyday. Note: I get so angry when I see highly sugared yogurt and candies and "Nutrition" bars to help "find a cure." How about "Find a prevention?" Don't eat crap like that and you're off to a good start.

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4100 · July 04, 2012 at 9:41 PM

I'm not so sure about this patient's choice thing. My oncologist and hospital do things a certain way, they have a protocol and they won't deviate from it. It is your choice to go to a different hospital, however.

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4100 · July 04, 2012 at 9:40 PM

I don't understand why she cannot ask her doctor or nurse and get an answer?

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41331 · July 04, 2012 at 9:35 PM

Just in my general googling, I noticed that carboplatin (a common chemotherapy drug) can be diluted into either saline or dextrose, but diluted in dextrose it has a much longer shelf life. I didn't see anything suggesting that one or the other was preferable in treatment.

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41331 · July 04, 2012 at 9:32 PM

Seems like this is something you need to talk to the doctor or staff pharmacist about. They, particularly pharmacists, know why drugs are administered they are. How about talking to the doctor about augmenting treatment with a ketogenic diet? Seems like these are the people to ask, before the internet rabble.

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41331 · July 04, 2012 at 9:29 PM

Without knowing the exact drug being used, how can you make such a statement?

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383 · July 04, 2012 at 8:55 PM

Hi Anon, Well done for beating cancer, you are a true inspiration, i read that fasting was really good for cancer patients, think it is called autophagy? i have a friend that has been diagnosed with breast cancer, do u have any tips i could share with her? Thanks and good luck with everything.

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3
6709 · July 04, 2012 at 7:32 PM

supplement with Marijuana PRN

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41331 · July 04, 2012 at 7:25 PM

I'd suspect that the chemotherapy drug used is most stable being delivered in a dextrose solution.

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603 · July 04, 2012 at 6:39 PM

They could ask the doctor if there's any reason they can't have normal saline (0.9% saline) instead, and say that they're happy to go without the calories from the dextrose. All the best.

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2751 · July 04, 2012 at 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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6709 · July 05, 2012 at 1:27 AM

I almost deleted this moronic comment. They are giving DEXTROSE, you are talking about insulin receptors, pull your head out of your ass and get a fn clue as to what you are talking about before posting BS.

3d58b5fb4f9780e2f47d4dcc53338a5a
2751 · July 04, 2012 at 11:18 PM

The whole paleo/natural food/low carb/no (or very little) sugar/avoid PUFA/excercise hard is the way to go. Ketogenic/low carb is excellent for autophagy, from what I read, but once the system is broken, you have to do the required chemo and all that goes with it. I'd say to go with the dextrose in the IV during chemo, and no sugar the rest of her life! Also, go out for a walk everyday. Note: I get so angry when I see highly sugared yogurt and candies and "Nutrition" bars to help "find a cure." How about "Find a prevention?" Don't eat crap like that and you're off to a good start.

77fcbf8bece61c60e3ff430d4bb5de66
383 · July 04, 2012 at 8:55 PM

Hi Anon, Well done for beating cancer, you are a true inspiration, i read that fasting was really good for cancer patients, think it is called autophagy? i have a friend that has been diagnosed with breast cancer, do u have any tips i could share with her? Thanks and good luck with everything.

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4100 · July 04, 2012 at 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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20908 · October 24, 2012 at 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 at 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 at 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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6709 · July 04, 2012 at 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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4100 · July 04, 2012 at 9:41 PM

I'm not so sure about this patient's choice thing. My oncologist and hospital do things a certain way, they have a protocol and they won't deviate from it. It is your choice to go to a different hospital, however.

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41331 · July 04, 2012 at 9:29 PM

Without knowing the exact drug being used, how can you make such a statement?

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3
6709 · July 04, 2012 at 7:32 PM

supplement with Marijuana PRN

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