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Life Extension Suggestions

Patients should ask their physicians for assistance in obtaining information on ongoing cancer vaccine and other immunotherapy clinical studies, and the criteria for subject enrollment and participation. Immunotherapy patients should consult their physicians before starting to use any nutritional supplements while receiving treatment. In addition, if using nutritional supplements, they should ask their physicians for assistance in ensuring the implementation of blood tests and diagnostic procedures that are essential in monitoring the effectiveness of any adjuvant therapy for cancer.

Some guidelines for using nutritional supplements with immune-boosting cancer therapies include:

  • Zinc: 20 – 50 mg daily (Hercberg S et al 1998; Kohn S et al 2000)
  • Astragalus: 2000 – 4000 mg daily
  • Vitamin C: 120 mg daily (Hercberg S et al 1998)
  • Vitamin E: 800 IU of d-alpha tocopheryl succinate daily for two weeks (Malmberg KJ et al 2002); 400 IU daily for long-term use (Calder PC et al 2002b; Pallast EG et al 1999)
  • Folic acid: 800 mcg daily (Fenech M 2001)
  • Vitamin B12: 7 mcg daily (Fenech M 2001)
  • Vitamin B6: 2.1 – 2.7 mg (one B-complex capsule) daily (Kwak HK et al 2002)
  • Selenium: 100 mcg daily (Broome CS et al 2004)
  • Glutamine: 30 g daily (Yoshida S et al 1998)
  • Ginseng, panax: 100 mg daily (Anderson GD et al 2003)
  • Melatonin: 20 mg daily, at bedtime (Lissoni P et al 2000)
  • Garlic: 250 mg daily (Dhawan V et al 2004)
  • Mushroom extract: active hexose correlated compound: 3 g daily (Matsui Y et al 2002)
  • PSK: 3000 mg daily of a 40% polysaccharide extract
  • Reishi: 980 – 3000 mg daily standardized to contain 13.5% polysaccharides and 6% triterpenes
  • Fish oil (containing EPA): 4.7 g daily (Kew S et al 2004).

Note that most cancer patients take higher doses of vitamin C (2000 to 20 000 mg/day), selenium (200 to 400 mcg/day), vitamin B6 (100 to 750 mg/day), and vitamin B12 (100 to 300 mcg/day). These doses are considerably higher than the doses used in the studies cited above.

Blood Test Availability

Tests for PSA, CEA, selenium, vitamin B12, and folate serum levels are available via Life Extension/National Diagnostics, Inc., and may be ordered by calling 1-800-544-4440 or by ordering online at

Tumor antigen profile can be determined via Genzyme Genetics ( and may be ordered by a physician by calling 1-800-966-4440.

Tests for immune cell function, serum growth factor levels, and immunosuppressive agents (IL-10) are available at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center (

X-rays, scans, and physical examinations can be arranged through your physician.