June 14, 2024

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Cancer patients eating ice cream can reduce this side effect of chemotherapy

Cancer patients eating ice cream can reduce this side effect of chemotherapy


Cancer patients eating ice cream can reduce this side effect of chemotherapy.

Cancer patients eat ice cream during treatment, and the incidence of this side effect is actually reduced!

Eating ice cream for patients receiving chemotherapy reduces the probability of oral mucositis (mouth ulcers) after chemotherapy!

This is no joke! It is the researcher result of a recent study published in the journal “Scientific Reports” under Nature [1-2] .

Cancer patients eating ice cream can reduce this side effect of chemotherapy


It should be known that the incidence of oral mucositis in patients with traditional chemotherapy has reached 20%-40%; in patients with head and neck tumor radiotherapy, the incidence of oral mucositis is as high as 85%-100% [3-4] . In addition, oral mucositis is more likely to occur with these drugs [5-7] :

  • Chemotherapy drugs: cyclophosphamide, ifosfamide, doxorubicin (doxorubicin liposome), methotrexate, 5-fluorouracil, cytarabine, vincristine, platinum and other drugs;
  • Targeted therapy drugs: afatinib, gefitinib, erlotinib, bevacizumab, cetuximab, everolimus, etc.



When patients encounter oral mucositis, in addition to pain, it may also lead to difficulty in eating, which seriously affects the quality of life [8] .


Then, some people who saw this study were very curious: ” Can lung cancer patients use this trick to reduce the incidence of oral mucositis? Can lung cancer patients receiving targeted therapy and immunotherapy also do it?



Test subjects


The study included 74 patients who needed to receive autologous hematopoietic stem cells . Kope Jun took a look. Although there were no lung cancer patients, the types of diseases were still relatively rich :

  • 63 patients were multiple myeloma (MM);
  • 4 patients had MM amyloidosis (AL+MM);
  • 3 patients had amyloidosis (AL);
  • 3 patients had systemic sclerosis (SSc);
  • One patient had POEMS syndrome.


Among them, 52 patients ate ice cream, and 22 patients did not eat ice cream.


Autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation:

refers to the use of the patient’s own hematopoietic stem cells for transplantation.

After the tumor patient achieves complete remission after chemotherapy, peripheral hematopoietic stem cells can be collected by machine for cryopreservation.

During autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, the patient enters the laminar flow ward and is pretreated with high-dose chemotherapy to remove residual tumor cells in the body.

The cryopreserved hematopoietic stem cells are recovered and returned to the patient.



What ice cream did you eat?


Some seekers may think that even if this research is true, the ice cream used is definitely not ordinary ice cream.


However, the patients participating in the trial ate ordinary ice cream, strictly speaking, ice cream balls, as shown in the picture below.

Cancer patients eating ice cream can reduce this side effect of chemotherapy





How do you eat ice cream?


1. The trial asked them to slowly consume the ice cream in their mouths during the infusion of melphalan .


2. All patients received the same oral care, which included octenidine and calcium phosphate rinses.


3. Start 5 minutes before the drug injection and continue for 30 minutes to 2 hours or continue throughout the chemotherapy drug injection process.

Melphalan (MELPHALAN) :

It can be used for tumors. It is the drug of choice for multiple myeloma in single chemotherapy and combined chemotherapy.



An antimicrobial agent, a special decontamination agent for skin, mucous membranes and wounds.





Test results


Eat ice cream group:

the incidence of oral mucositis is about 29%. The degree of oral mucositis is also relatively mild.


No ice cream group:

The incidence of oral mucositis doubled to 59%. The degree of oral mucositis is relatively high.


Test Summary

In conclusion, in this study, taking small mouthfuls of ice cream slowly when patients received radiotherapy and chemotherapy was helpful to reduce the incidence of oral mucositis. In theory, lung cancer patients can also try this method under the guidance of a doctor.




Test principle


In fact, eating ice cream during radiotherapy and chemotherapy can reduce the incidence of oral mucositis, which is not a new discovery. Previous studies have shown that cryotherapy can help reduce the incidence of oral mucositis [8] .


Ice cubes in the mouth are also part of cryotherapy. The “coldness” of ice cubes stimulates the oral mucosa, lowers the temperature in the oral cavity, causes local vasoconstriction in the oral cavity, and reduces blood flow to the oral mucosa. this way:

  • Limit the dose of the drug to the oral mucosa, and weaken the adverse reactions of chemotherapy drugs to oral mucosal cells;
  • After the blood flow to the oral mucosa is reduced, it can inhibit the generation of reactive oxygen species and reduce the incidence of oral mucositis;
  • The low temperature in the oral cavity is also conducive to inhibiting the reproduction of bacteria, which can prevent oropharyngeal infections to a certain extent.


In addition to ice cream and ice cubes in the mouth, before the start of radiotherapy and chemotherapy, friends can also use the following methods to reduce the incidence of oral mucositis.





2 ways to reduce the incidence of oral mucositis


1. Before treatment [4]

Go to a regular dentist for a comprehensive oral examination, such as:

  • Cleans plaque and tartar.
  • If there is inflammation, caries, often painful wisdom teeth or broken teeth, etc., it should be treated first.
  • Radiation patients need to remove full metal crowns, and metal removable dentures also need to be removed during radiotherapy.


2. After treatment

Do not eat tobacco, alcohol, sour, spicy, hot, or hard food, it is best not to drink carbonated drinks.

It is suitable to eat some soft and small pieces of food, but in order to be nutritionally balanced, it is necessary to mix meat and vegetables, and try to eat different foods.


A soft-bristled toothbrush is recommended for brushing.


It is recommended to rinse your mouth after meals, and use an alcohol-free salt solution, such as normal saline, when gargling. It is recommended to gargle 4 times a day with 15mL of mouthwash for 1 minute each time, and try not to eat within 30 minutes after gargling.



Mouth pain, unable to eat [9-10]


Grade 1-3 Oral Pain:

It is recommended to use a mucosal protective agent (such as oral gel), which can quickly form a very thin protective film at the ulcer site within 5 minutes, and relieve pain due to its physical barrier effect.

The British Cancer Oral Mucositis Care Group guidelines recommend using oral gel 30 minutes before eating to effectively relieve the pain of eating.


3-4 Oral pain:

If the oral cavity is very painful, please contact the doctor in time. It is necessary to increase the use of local and systemic pain relievers. In severe cases, drug injection may be required.



Again, the above methods of preventing, relieving and treating oral mucositis should be carried out under the guidance of a doctor.








Reference source

[1] 2022 Ig Nobel Prizes (acs.org) https://cen.acs.org/people/awards/2022-Ig-Nobel-Prizes/100/i33

[2] Marcin Jasiński, Martyna Maciejewska, Anna Brodziak, Micha Górka, Kamila Skwierawska, Wiesaw W. Jdrzejczak, Agnieszka Tomaszewska, Grzegorz W. Basak, and Emilian Snarski, Ice-Cream Used as Cryotherapy During High-Dose Melphalan Conditioning Reduces Oral Mucositis After Autologous Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation, Scientific Reports, vol. 11, no. 22507, 2021.

[3] Professional Committee of Oncology Nursing of China Anti-Cancer Association. Practice Guidelines for Cancer Symptom Management in China – Oral Mucositis [J]. Journal of Nurses Training, 2020,35(20):1871-1878. DOI:10.16821/j.cnki. hsjx.2020.25.028.

[4] Wu Tong, Cheng Bin. Prevention and treatment of oral mucositis induced by tumor radiotherapy and chemotherapy [J]. Chinese Journal of Stomatology, 2022, 57(4): 436-440. DOI: 10.3760/cma.j.cn112144- 20220130-00038.

[5] Peterson DE et al, Ann Oncol. 2015;26 Suppl 5:v139-51

[6] Tang Shuya, et al. Chinese Journal of Stomatology 2018;53(8):566-571.

[7] Expert consensus on the management of EGFR-TKI adverse reactions. China Lung Cancer Journal 2019;22(2):57-79

[8] Xu Meiying, Guo Fengying, Lin Biyun. The effect of oral cryotherapy on chemotherapy-induced oral mucositis in patients with colorectal cancer [J]. Contemporary Nurses (mid-term), 2022, 29(1): 94-97. DOI: 10.19792 /j.cnki.1006-6411.2022.02.027.

[9] Shi Genya, Liu Yu, Shi Tieying. Research progress on the application of oral cryotherapy in oral mucositis in cancer patients [J]. Chinese Journal of Modern Nursing, 2020, 26(13): 1807-1811. DOI: 10.3760/cma. j.cn115682-20191210-04528

[10]UKOMiC OM Guidelines. Mouth care guidance and support in cancer and palliative care. http://www.ukomic.co.uk/pdf/UK_OM_Guidelines_v3.pdf. Accessed June 14, 2015.


(source:internet, reference only)

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