Choosing Ayurveda medicines prior to Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy -WHY

Once diagnosed with Cancer, think wisely do not panic. Prior to surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, Ayurveda Rasayana should be taken to minimize the common side effects like Myelosuppression which leads to several delays in the chemotherapy and radiotherapy schedule and ultimately affecting the outcome of Cancer.

Medical Reasons behind administrating Ayurveda medicines before chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

White blood count-1) particulary neutrophils- 2) ADIR (fall ) on 10—14 days 3) Return to normal on 21-28 days.

  • Bone marrow has a storage compartment that can supply mature cells to the peripheral blood for 8-10 days after the stem cell pool has been depleted by the cytotoxic drugs.
  • Events measured in the peripheral blood are usually a week behind the events occurring in the bone marrow.
  • In previously untreated patients not primed by Csf’s leucopenia and thrombo cytopeneia are discernible on the 9th or 1oth day after initial dosing.
  • Nadir blood counts are noted between days 14-18days with recovery apparent by day 21 and usually complete by day 28 in patients who have had prior treatment with drugs.
  • This sequence may be altered by depleting the stem cell pool, shortening the time to the appearance of leucopenia and thrombocytopenia and prolonging the recovery time.
  • The interval of greatest importance is the clinic is the duration of nadir level of leucocytes and platelets.
  • Highest risk-of infection / bleeding occurs with granulocyte counts lower than 10000/dl. If this nadir lasts for only 4to7 days, it is tolerated by most patients without supplemental support. Increasing doses of most anticancer drugs, within the range of the maximally tolerated standard dose, usually does not ablate the marrow or even prolong the time of recovery but it influences the nadir count levels.

HENCE, Pretreatment is essential in all cancer patients, depending on their health status

Studies have clearly shown that Rasayanas help in combating the side effects of chemotherapy drugs like cyclophosphamide, which is a common drug given to the patients of Breast Cancer.

Oral administration of Brahma Rasayana (BR) and Ashwagandha/Rasayana (AR) was found to protect mice from cyclophosphamide induced leukopenia. Total white blood cell counts in BR and AR treated animals on day 12 were 3800 and 3000 cells (mm3 respectively, which was significantly high compared to that of controls (700 cells/mm3). When the treatment was stopped on day 14 the value increased to 27,000 and 26,000 cells/mm3. The bone marrow cellularity were also significantly high in BR and AR treated animals (3.45 x 10(6) and 2.38 x 16 cells femur respectively) compared to that of controls. (0.72 x 10(6) cells/femur),(kuttan et al)

Prior Administration of Rasayana drugs also harmonizes the doshas in the body which are responsible for several side effects like hairloss mouth ulcers , body pains, constipation etc. Even if there are side effects, post chemo and radiotherapy Ayurveda medicines help to reduce their impact and help in faster recovery.

Ayurveda medicines as Sensitizers ,What are chemo and radio sensitizers ?

Chemo and radio sensitizers are those drugs which make tumor more sensitive to chemo and radiotherapy.

Various herbs, such as Guduchi, Ashwagandha, Amla, Neem, bael, Plumbago rosea, and curcumin, and polyherbals, such as seme carpus lehyam, have been shown to possess radio- and chemo sensitizing properties. (Prachi Goradia et al).

Studies on Effects of Triphala on Cancer Cell

The use of herbals and dietary modulators in combination with radiation have enhanced tumor killing but protected normal cells against radiation. The use of certain phytochemicals as radioprotectors have been reported in literature. ( Weiss JF, Landauer MR. Proection against ionizing radiation by antioxidant nutrients and phytochemicals. Toxicol 2003;189:1-20)

Results from BARC, Mumbai laboratory have shown that Ayurveda formulation, Triphala in combination with gamma radiation lead to radiosensitization of tumor cells, MCF-7 breast cancer cell line. It was further found that triphala spared normal cells, such as, mouse hepatocytes and spleen cells at concentrations that were toxic to MCF-7 [Cancer Lett. 2005, Sandhya T. et al]