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ASCO 2024: HealthTree’s Collaboration on The Role of Dietary Supplements in Cancer Patient Care
Posted: Jun 18, 2024
ASCO 2024: HealthTree’s Collaboration on The Role of Dietary Supplements in Cancer Patient Care image

Myeloma specialist Dr. Yan Leyfman from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai South Nassau in collaboration with HealthTree, shared their findings at the ASCO 2024 conference in June. 

Dietary supplements are widely used by cancer patients in the United States, with about 70% of patients incorporating them into their routines. This is especially true for patients with plasma cell disorders who show a strong interest in supplements. 

In the poster presentation, Dr. Leyfman highlighted that the survey made through HealthTree Cure Hub played an important role in understanding patients’ perceptions and their use of supplements after receiving a myeloma diagnosis. 

What Did the Survey Look for? 

  • Patient’s perception of supplements
  • Habits on supplements
  • Patient’s knowledge of specific supplements
  • Use of supplements like: Vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, turmeric/curcumin, and probiotics

What Were the Survey’s Results? 

This survey highlights a significant interest in supplement use among patients with plasma cell disorders and a clear need for more research. An overwhelming 91% of patients expressed interest in more research on the risks and benefits of supplement use.

Did Myeloma Diagnosis Influence Supplement Use? 

  • Before diagnosis, 71% of patients used supplements
  • After diagnosis, 95% of patients were taking supplements 

Where Did Patients Obtain Supplement Information? 

  • Medical media (medical websites, journals and information for physicians) (45%)
  • Myeloma education websites for patients (28%)
  • 63% of patients discussed their supplement use with their physician; particularly with oncologists (46%) and primary care providers (34%)
  • 74% preferred their oncologist's recommendations regarding supplements

What Were the Supplements Used For? 

  • Immune support (70%)
  • Preventing nutritional deficiencies (54%)
  • Stopping cancer progression (38%)

The results show that many patients increased or started using supplements after being diagnosed, often relying on their oncologist's advice. Most of them obtained information from their attending physician and medical media. Patients used supplements mainly for immune support, to prevent nutritional deficiencies, and to stop the cancer from progressing.

This survey highlights the importance of patient participation and self-advocacy in research. It promotes patients' real needs and preferences and helps plan better ways to support them. Survey studies like this are key to understanding how supplements can be safely and effectively used in cancer care.

Patients are encouraged to discuss any supplement use with their healthcare providers to ensure safe and coordinated care.

Be Your Best Self-Advocate and Contribute to Research with HealthTree Cure Hub, the Platform that Powers Life-Saving Research!

You can also actively participate in research by joining the HealthTree Cure Hub community!

If you are interested in participating in or finding a clinical trial, keeping track of your myeloma, or answering surveys that address patients' research needs, you can create a free account and safely connect your records! 



The author Jimena Vicencio

about the author
Jimena Vicencio

Jimena is an International Medical Graduate who is part of the HealthTree Writing team. She loves learning new things led by her curiosity, playing with her pets, and exercising in her free time.

Thanks to our HealthTree Community for Multiple Myeloma Sponsors:

Johnson and Johnson
Bristol Myers Squibb

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