Friday, May 26, 2006

Melatonin Use in Cancer Treatment

Melatonin Reduces Pain
Some doctors are noting that melatonin supplementation reduces pain in cancer patients in a metastatic stage of the disease. This seems to be due to the connection between the pineal gland and the opioid system. These metastatic patients were found to have a lower beta-endorphin/melatonin ratio. Italian researchers say “The low beta-endorphin/melatonin ratio observed in metastatic patients suggests the presence of an unbalanced relation between the pineal and the opioid system in those subjects. Therefore, an anomalous relationship between pineal function and opioid activity might play a role in the clinical course of neoplastic disease.. See abstract

Melatonin Reduces Side-Effects of Platin Drugs
Melatonin can also be quite useful for mitigating the side-effects of platnum drugs along with Vitamin E.
In addition to its potential direct antitumor activity, melatonin has proved to modulate the effects of cancer chemotherapy, by enhancing its therapeutic efficacy and reducing its toxicity. The increase in chemotherapeutic efficacy by melatonin may depend on two main mechanisms, namely prevention of chemotherapy-induced lymphocyte damage and its antioxidant effect, which has been proved to amplify cytotoxic actions of the chemotherapeutic agents against cancer cells
See the abstract Five years survival in metastatic non-small cell lung cancer patients treated with chemotherapy alone or chemotherapy and melatonin: a randomized trial.

Additional Melatonin Information
For More information about melatonin on wikipedia Click here.
Literature Review of Melatonin from Memorial Sloane Kettering's website. Click here
Melatonin levels can be tested. See here.