Can Ayurveda Rasayana therapy give better quality of life in elderly cancer patients?

Pune : Rasayu Cancer Clinic Pune has recently presented research findings on the effectiveness of Rasayana therapy that can be considered as a complementary and alternative therapy in the treatment of elderly cancer patients.
The presentation on the topic “REAL WORLD EVIDENCE (RWE) ON SAFETY AND EFFICACY OF HERBO-MINERAL RASAYANA THERAPY ON OVERALL SURVIVAL (OS)AND PATIENT REPORTED OUTCOME (PRO’S) MEASURES IN GERIATRIC CANCER PATIENTS”, authored by Vd. Yogesh Bendale, CMD of Rasayu Cancer Clinic and co-authored by Vd. Veneeta Bendale, Vd. Poonam Birari, Vd. Avinash Kadam, Vd. Anandrao Patil and Vd. Vaishali Patil was accepted and presented at MASCC/ISOO 2021 Annual Meeting held from 24-26th June 2021.

The Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC)-Canada, is an international multidisciplinary organization with members in more than 70 countries, dedicated to research and education in all aspects of supportive care for people with cancer regardless of the stage of their disease.

Each year, MASCC joins forces with the International Society for Oral Oncology (ISOO) to host the Annual Meeting to include as many as 1600 attendees across these 70 countries.

Cancer treatment can be more challenging and complicated for older adults. This is because older adults are more likely to have chronic health conditions, such as diabetes or ischemic heart disease, blood pressure, Alzheimer’s, decreased kidney /liver function etc along with many socio-economic factors and circumstances that impact their Quality of Life which is different than in patients with young age. In geriatric population (age > 65 years), age is an also one of the risk factors for increased toxicity to chemotherapy and decreased tolerance. In this population, vital organ like kidney /liver /heart etc toxicities may be more troublesome, but in some cancers the effectiveness of chemotherapy is not age dependent. It can be used in this group for advance tumours following geriatric assessment in selected population. Hence, several elderly cancer patients look out for complimentary therapies which will help them to fight the cancer comfortably as such many patients take Ayurveda along with conventional anticancer therapies.

And also, patients who are not eligible or who are not responding to anticonventional therapies look out for other treatment options. However, there was no systematic data available to evaluate benefits of Complementary and alternative treatment (CAM) modalities or integrative oncology. Hence, Rasayu cancer clinic conducted study in elderly advanced stage cancer patients.

Yogesh Bendale who is also Vice Chairman of MASCC Geriatrics Study Group, along with his team, presented this paper the objective of which was:

To assess safety and effectiveness of Ayurveda Rasayana Therapy in elderly cancer population including colorectal, esophageal, pancreas, breast, bladder cancer etc.

This research study findings have indicated that Ayurveda Rasayana therapy goes with conventional anticancer therapies. Ayurved Rasayana therapy helps patients to tolerate chemotherapy well and complete the prescribed therapeutic regime with minimum toxicity. This in turn helps cancer patients to fight the disease with great comfort. This creates further need of integration of Ayurveda with conventional cancer care and further research in integrative oncology.

From this study we observed that Rasayana therapy showed favourable response in elderly advance stage cancer patients and it seems to have potential in maintaining their health-related quality of life and physical performance status in group of patients who are either not eligible or no longer responding to conventional anticancer therapies. The research findings are based upon real world evidence of Ayurved cancer treatment in elderly population. Based on these promising outcomes and the successful results, Dr Bendale has further decided to undertake research on the larger scale to ascertain the benefits of Rasayana therapy in all types of cancers and all types of age group of patients.

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