Online Exclusives

Taking Care of Cancer Patients

By Joanna Cosgrove, Online Editor | August 27, 2012

OncoQOL nutritional supplements and personal care products are formulated to meet the unique needs of patients undergoing cancer treatment.

The National Cancer Institute estimated that 1.5 million people will be diagnosed with some form of cancer in 2012. During the course of treatment, many patients develop nutrient imbalances and deficiencies that can affect their quality of life, and at times, compromise the completion of treatment. To better meet the special needs of cancer patients, Thorne Research, Inc. (Sandpoint, ID) and Helsinn Healthcare SA (Lugano, Switzerland), recently debuted OncoQOL and DermaQOL, a portfolio of 13 organic nutritional supplements and personal care products formulated to address the unique health, skin and hair care needs of patients undergoing cancer treatment.
A cancer diagnosis can be devastating and its treatment can be physically and psychologically punishing. Treatment for cancer often results in nutritionally related undesirable effects, such as weight loss, fatigue, diarrhea, and highly sensitive nerves and skin. The OncoQOL product line is designed to help patients address these and other similar conditions which can deteriorate their quality of life and adversely affect compliance in fully completing their course of treatment.
“For many cancer patients the side effects of treatment have a significant impact on their health and quality of life, often making it difficult for them to continue with their therapy,” said Sreenivas Rao, MD, president, OncoQOL. “Our products are designed to meet the unique needs of these patients and are manufactured with the essential levels of purity and consistency that are so important for this population.”
OncoQOL nutritional supplement products are manufactured using “pure, hypoallergenic, highly-absorbable nutrients.” According to the product creators, all of the products undergo extensive quality control testing during every phase of the manufacturing process.  
Three of the nutritional supplements in the OncoQOL portfolio are: DaxibeQOL™, a blend of branched-chain and other essential amino acids known to possibly promote anabolism, weight gain, lean muscle mass, and muscle strength; NutraQOL™, a wheat germ extract that may reduce fatigue and helps improve social, physical, and emotional wellbeing; and MucosaQOL™, which contains L-glutamine, an amino acid helpful to support healthy mucous membranes of the mouth and gastrointestinal tract. (Although some of their active ingredients have been clinically shown to provide important benefits to cancer patients, the companies clearly stated that their OncoQOL products are not intended to treat specific diseases and should not be considered as adjuncts to disease treatment.)
In our practice we see firsthand the challenges that patients face in managing the side effects of chemotherapy and trying to optimize their overall health and diet during treatment,” commented Lawrence Piro, MD, president and chief operating officer of The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute in Santa Monica, CA. “A high fraction of patients take nutritional supplements during therapy, but many commercially available supplements are not designed for people with cancer. Selecting products and managing combinations of supplements is very confusing to patients, and many interact negatively and unpredictably with their cancer treatment. OncoQOL has prepared pure, high quality products designed with our patients’ specific needs in mind which reduces the confusion and apprehension of using supportive care products as part of the treatment program.”
DermaQOL personal care products are manufactured without the use of plasticizers,foaming agents and preservatives found in manypersonal care product brands. Three of the products in the DermaQOL portfolio are:  DermaQOL Lotion, a silicone-free and sulfate-free blend of unscented organic emollients to hydrate dry, rough skin; DermaQOL Shower Gel, an all-body wash and shampoo specially formulated for sensitive skin; andDermaQOL Cooling Aloe Spray, a moisturizer that provides cooling relief for irritated skin.
OncoQOL and DermaQOL are available only through oncologists and other medical professionals in the United States and Canada. Thus far, more than 100 cancer specialists and other health-care providers have signed up to provide these products to their patients.
“OncoQOL represents a huge step forward in helping patients undergoing cancer treatment and their families obtain reliable access to products and information that empowers them to become more proactive in their health challenge,” concluded James B. LaValle, RPh, chief executive officer of Integrative Health Resources, LLC, and chair of OncoQOL’s Science Advisory Board. “By providing targeted dietary supplements that the consumer and the physician can rely on, OncoQOL is filling a huge void in the cancer supportive care marketplace.”
For more information about OncoQOLand DermaQOL products, click this link.
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