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Calcium and magnesium reduce chemotherapy side effects.

A presentation from the 44th annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology revealed that calcium and magnesium administered intravenously to patients undergoing chemotherapy results in a significant reduction in neurotoxicity, a common side effect of chemotherapeutic drugs.* Neurotoxicity is characterized by pain in the extremities that can be severe enough to prevent cancer patients from continuing their treatment.

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Researchers with the North Central Cancer Treatment Group administered intravenous calcium and magnesium before and after treatment with the chemotherapeutic drug oxaliplatin to 50 of 102 patients with advanced colon cancer. The remaining 52 patients received oxaliplatin with an intravenous placebo.

The research team found a significant reduction in neurotoxicity incidence, severity, and time to onset associated with the use of calcium and magnesium compared with the placebo group. Importantly, calcium and magnesium did not reduce the activity of oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy.

"Now that we have shown the effectiveness of calcium and magnesium in reducing oxaliplatin-induced neurotoxicity, a further step may be to evaluate the benefit of calcium and magnesium in reducing neurotoxicity caused by other medications," the study cochair noted.

Reference

* Available at: http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/540875/. Accessed June 30, 2008.
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Title Annotation:IN THE NEWS
Author:Dye, Dayna
Publication:Life Extension
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2008
Words:196
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