Sunday, March 10, 2013

All Natural

Shortly after my diagnosis I attended a local gathering of WM patients where we had the opportunity to hear several physicians who are international experts on the disease. We heard about the newest trials, several interesting case studies, treatment options-including autologous and allogenic stem cell transplants. If you have WM I highly recommend that you investigate local groups as well as the International WM Foundation which sponsors annual educational forums. There is also a biennial International Patient and Physician Summit on WM.

At the local WM meeting, the question was posed "are there non-pharmacological treatments for WM that have demonstrated effectiveness?" The answer surprised me. The speaker answered that both red wine and green tea have shown promising effects for WM patients. I'm trying to acquire a taste for both, but it is slow going. 

There is some evidence to support that the polyphenols found in green tea and red wine may help increase white blood cell count and, possibly, inhibit cancer progression. The major group of polyphenols in green tea are called catechins, and the most important catechin seems to be epigallocatechin gallate (sometimes called EGCG). Cancer cells are different from normal cells in that they do not die when they should—they continue to proliferate. EGCG may help cause certain types of cancer cells to die like normal cells do. 

The speaker also said that Viagra may have a restrictive effect on WM. Apparently, it blocks the function of several proteins necessary to the survival of certain types of cancer and laboratory tests have shown that it can destroy WM cells. I think I'll wait for further information on that one.

Information on polyphenols found here and here.

Information on WM Viagra trials found here