HEALTH

Study: Ginger reduces nausea associated with chemotherapy

BY Michael Johnsen

ROCHESTER, N.Y. People with cancer can reduce post-chemotherapy nausea by as much as 40% by using ginger supplements, along with standard antivomiting drugs, before undergoing treatment, according to scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

About 70% of cancer patients who receive chemotherapy complain of nausea and vomiting.

“There are effective drugs to control vomiting, but the nausea is often worse because it lingers,” stated lead author Julie Ryan, assistant professor of dermatology and radiation oncology at Rochester’s James P. Wilmot Cancer Center. “Nausea is a major problem for people who undergo chemotherapy and it’s been a challenge for scientists and doctors to understand how to control it,” Ryan said.

The Phase II/III placebo-controlled, double-blind study included 644 cancer patients who would receive at least three chemotherapy treatments. They were divided into four arms that received placebos, 0.5 gram of ginger, 1 gram of ginger or 1.5 grams of ginger along with antiemetics (anti-vomiting drugs such as Zofran, Kytril, Novaban and Anzemet).

Patients took the ginger supplements three days prior to chemotherapy and three days following treatment. Patients reported nausea levels at various times of day during following their chemotherapy and those who took the lower doses had a 40% reduction.

Ginger is readily absorbed in the body and has long been considered a remedy for stomach aches. “By taking the ginger prior to chemotherapy treatment, the National Cancer Institute-funded study suggests its earlier absorption into the body may have anti-inflammatory properties,” Ryan said.

The research will be presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in the Patient and Survivor Care Session on Saturday, May 30, in Orlando, Fla.

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NACDS develops Marketplace Retail Scorecard

BY Michael Johnsen

PALM BEACH, Fla. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores developed a results-driven resource for retailers attending the 2009 Marketplace conference, called the Marketplace Retail Scorecard. The scorecard focuses retailers on finding new vendors or products, identifying marketing and merchandising opportunities and resolving issues.

“Now, more than ever, retailers are ensuring that their business activities produce tangible results for their bottom lines,” stated Jim Whitman, NACDS SVP meetings and exhibits. “We urge retailers to utilize this new tool as a way to ensure that their business meetings are successful and yield results long after the NACDS Marketplace conference has taken place.”

The scorecard is divided into five “S.M.A.R.T.” deliverables — specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound — which will enable retailers to target their goals ahead of time, quantify them, conduct follow-up and plan accordingly for future business activities with suppliers, NACDS stated.

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Three N.Y. schools close for H1N1 outbreak, assistant principal in critical condition

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK Just when it seemed fear of the H1N1 influenza outbreak had subsided, three New York City schools closed Friday, with one school official in critical condition.

Education Department spokeswoman Margie Feinberg said maintenance crews were thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting two middle schools and one elementary school in Queens County where hundreds of students were sent home sick this week, the Associated Press said.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the school closures Thursday evening, saying four students and the assistant principal at the Susan B. Anthony middle school in Hollis have documented cases of swine flu. The assistant principal is said to be on a ventilator and in critical condition.

Meanwhile, the New York City Department of Education has developed a Web page to assure parents that the situation has been recognized and is being taken care of.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reported over 4,700 cases of H1N1 across 47 states, including four deaths.

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