Thursday, April 29, 2010

FDA Approves Provenge for Men With Advanced Prostate Cancer

This information is directly from the Dendreon Website (The manufacturer of Provenge)
PROVENGE® (sipuleucel-T) Is Now FDA Approved
PROVENGE is an autologous cellular immunotherapy for the treatment of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic metastatic castrate resistant (hormone refractory) prostate cancer.

PROVENGE is made using cells from a patient's own immune system, so it cannot be warehoused like many other drugs and requires specialized manufacturing facilities.

Within the first year of FDA approval, Dendreon anticipates being able to manufacture PROVENGE to support the treatment of about 2,000 patients. At launch, treatment will be available through approximately 50 centers across the country previously approved as clinical trial sites. As our manufacturing capacity increases over the next 12 months, PROVENGE will become more broadly available.

How It Works

PROVENGE (PROH-venj) is designed to stimulate a patient’s immune system to target prostate cancer cells. The process of making PROVENGE involves the introduction of a patient’s immune cells to a protein that functions as a prostate cancer-associated antigen. An antigen is a substance that causes the body to react with an immune response. This process activates the patient’s immune cells against prostate cancer cells to help the immune system better fight the disease.

Additional information is provided in the FDA news release located on PR Newswire.

This is very exciting news for the cancer community because it is the first cancer immunotherapy product sometimes called an "individualized cancer vaccine" to receive FDA approval.

We have highlighed Dendreon on our Lots To Live For, Inc. Resources Page for many years.

Here is a NY Times article about the Provenge approval.
F.D.A. Approves Vaccine for Prostate Cancer
Published: April 29, 2010
The treatment is the first to use a so-called cancer vaccine that trains the body’s immune system to fight the disease.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Lots To Live For, Inc. Sponsors a Biathlon to Benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation

We all wish that many new and innovative ways to treat Breast Cancer will be discovered over the next decade. The Breast Cancer Research Foundation is helping to fund research to discover these treatments.

On May 8, 2009 approximately 200 women will participate in the first annual Upper Saddle River Biathlon to raise money for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

The mission of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation is to achieve prevention and a cure for breast cancer in our lifetime by providing critical funding for innovative clinical and translational research at leading medical centers worldwide, and increasing public awareness about good breast health. A minimum of 85 cents of every dollar goes to research and awareness programs. For more information about the BCRF please refer to their website at:

For more information about the race you can check out the website at:
The race consists of a 2 mile run, a 10 mile bike ride, and concludes with another 2 mile run. There is still space if you would like to join us! Come down to Lion’s Park to encourage the participants, or stand along the course on race day and support us!

We all know someone who has courageously battled breast cancer, and there has been so much progress, but so much more is possible!

Lots To Live For, Inc. offers one stop web shopping for patients combating uncomfortable and unpleasant side effects from chemotherapy and radiation treatment. We have helped many breast cancer patients.

Our website offers high quality:
• Products to help heal and soothe radiation burns
Cancer skin care products for sensitive and compromised skin
Cancer hair care products to reduce hair loss and stimulate hair re-growth
Oral care items for dry mouth and mouth sores
Nutritional products to help boost the immune system
Cancer gifts for individuals undergoing radiation and chemotherapy
Natural, Botanical and Homeopathic products to relieve cancer side effects
• Post radiation sun protection products and unique and effective sunscreen products for everyone

No other company offers such a complete collection of cancer care products to help all types of cancer side effects. Lots To Live For, Inc. is also a cancer care resource offering cancer information and links to useful articles, organizations and research.

In keeping with the Good-Bye to Cancer theme for this Biathlon, Lots To Live For, Inc. has contributed two protective Skin Care products and a sanitizer pen to USR Biathlon participant goody bags.

SolRx Dry Zinc SPF #40
SolRx Dry Zinc SPF #40 is excellent for facial blocking. This product is truly exceptional. It goes on clear and dries quickly, leaving a matte finish. It stays on in the water. Reapplication is not necessary. Overall it has a great feel and easy application.
Tri Sport SPF #30-Lip Ice (Vanilla Flavoring) – Lip Protection
Simply the best for triathlon participants. Applied once, stays well, moisturizes, protects from sunburn and wind chap, warm weather, cold weather, swimming, cycling, running.

If you would like to make a contribution, please write a check payable to:
The Breast Cancer Research Foundation
You can send it to us at:
Lots To Live For, Inc.
PO Box 660
Saddle River, NJ 07458

"There is in every true woman's heart a spark of heavenly fire, which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity; but which kindles up, and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity." — Washington Irving

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Skin and Personal Care Products for Cancer Patients

Alra Care Package - Cancer Gift
Alra Therapy Lotion for skin care during radiation therapy, Alra Non-Metallic Deodorant and Alra Shampoo

ALRA (short for "all-radiation") Therapy Lotion was the first lotion to specifically address the skin care needs of individuals undergoing radiation therapy. Developed in 1987 by Cosmetic Chemist Henry Ott, in collaboration with Dr. Ronald W. Thompson, F.A.C.R., Director of Radiation Therapy at Cedars-Sinai Comprehensive Cancer Center, Los Angeles, CA, ALRA Therapy Lotion continues to be widely used and recommended in the nations’ finest cancer treatment centers. For more information about Alra Therapy Lotion including a list of ingredients:

Responding to requests of oncology professionals, two other ALRA formulations were added to address other side effects of cancer treatment: ALRA Mild Conditioning Shampoo for gentle scalp and hair cleansing during chemotherapy and ALRA Non-Metallic Deodorant, formulated without any metallic salts that can interfere with radiation treatments.

Over 2.5 million Americans have some degree of alopecia, and though there are many causes, hair loss is often the most visible aspect of cancer treatment. Important as the right wigs and head coverings may be, taking extra care of the scalp with a special chemotherapy shampoo is important at this challenging time. And that is exactly why Alra Mild Conditioning Shampoo was created.
As hair loss begins, the scalp is often dry, itching, irritated, and tender. Sensitivity to fragrances is common. Alra Mild Conditioning Shampoo is free of any chemical fragrances, artificial color, or drying additives. Natural Oil of Rosemary, along with 100% Aloe Vera Gel help to replenish the scalp.

Oncology nurses came to the developers of Alra in the early 1990’s with a request for a deodorant without aluminum for breast cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy treatments. Why? Because metallic ions have been shown to accelerate, intensify, or misdirect the treatment rays, with potential adverse results. The solution? Alra Non-Metallic Deodorant.

More recently, fears and questions have arisen about the possible linking of antiperspirants and deodorants with subsequent development of breast cancer and/or Alzheimer’s. Research continues with no conclusive evidence to support this hypothesis.

For these reasons, plus underarm irritation and allergic reactions, women now seek a natural deodorant that is radiation safe and does not contain metallic ions. It is vital to read the ingredient listing and avoid products that are labeled as mineral salts or “crystals” (as they contain alum (potassium aluminum sulfate), as well as those containing aluminum and zirconium. All contain metallic ions.

Be safe, select Alra Non-Metallic Deodorant.

All three ALRA products are aloe-vera based, with high levels of efficacy, and contain no alcohol, added colors or fragrance.

You can purchase all 3 products as a cancer gift in an attractive gift bag as shown above by clicking here:

Introduced nationally at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO) in 1988; ALRA Therapy Lotion has been evaluated favorably and recommended by oncologists, oncology nurses and radiation therapists for over twenty years.

ALRA Care products are available without a prescription. ALRA has helped thousands of cancer patients worldwide, as they cope with the side effects of their treatment.

The information in this posting is intended to be helpful and educational, but is not a substitute for professional medical advice. You can print detailed information about the products, including ingredients, and show them to your medical practitioner.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Cancer Side Effects: Radiation Burns

The purpose of this blog is to serve as a source of information and inspiration to patients, friends and caregivers who are interested in learning about options to reduce some of the uncomfortable side effects of radiation and chemotherapy.

When two courageous members of our own family experienced debilitating side effects from cancer treatment, we searched for products that could help them. We discovered some great items, but also found that they were hard to obtain. We founded Lots To Live For, Inc. ( as a one stop shopping resource for cancer side effect solutions.

In our blog posts we will talk about products, give patient feedback, and link to important and current articles relating to oncology and radiation care.

For our first post we focus on Radiation Burns. We have a number of products that are helpful for the skin during radiation therapy. Most of these products have been developed by individuals and families who have undergone radiation therapy treatment themselves, and created their products to target their own uncomfortable side effects.

In this posting we highlight the RADX Product line.
RADX was developed specifically for the founder of the product line’s brother who, going through intensive radiation treatments, developed burn and skin irritation that the usual prescription products did not help. With over 24 years in the burn relief/skin care business (including sun protection/sun care products), and having been named one of the top 500 privately held companies in America, the founders used their technological expertise to create the RADX products. RADX has been proven repeatedly – in several hundred cancer treatment facilities in the US, including some of the most renowned – to prevent radiation dermatitis and to relieve many of the skin related side effects of radiation therapy.

RADX Moisture Therapy
This is the first line of defense used at the onset of treatments, and then also as a last phase treatment used on irradiated skin after completion of radiation treatment. RADX Moisture Therapy is a lightly fragranced lotion made with Prickly Pear Cactus Gel; this product is excellent for use in reducing and eliminating redness and inflammation. It helps moisturize skin, and if used at start, or early during treatments, has been shown to slow down the process of radiation reaction which frequently occurs with treatments. This is an exceptional product, often used by the nurses themselves. For more information, and an ingredient list:

RADX Radiation Therapy
The best selling item in the RADX line - an unfragranced 2 % lidocaine cream made with 61% fresh ground aloe (differentiated from “drug store” aloe in that all the commercially available aloe products are made with freeze dried aloe—like comparing concentrate orange juice with fresh squeezed). This product provides almost immediate (within 5 minutes) relief from radiation reaction/burn. Used regularly during a treatment series, it can slow down point at which skin reactions occur and minimized severity of skin damage. This product is paraben free. For more information, and an ingredient list:

SolRx Lip Protectant
SPF #30 stick lip product made with vanilla, vitamins A & E, and aloe. Provides needed moisturizer and protectant for head and neck patients. It comes with a cap or is available on a sports cord, and is often worn by nurses nationally while on duty. This lip product is also great for all outdoor enthusiasts including triathletes. For more information:

RADX SPF #44 Sunblock
Packaged specifically for cancer patients and laser clients, irradiated skin should not have sun exposure for 3 years following treatments; and use of a sunblock is commonly prescribed. This product is a Parsol 1789 formulation (the most effective UVA blocker), and features the WaterBlock 8 hour waterproof system (shown to function at 97% to 100% after 8 hours in and out of water—the highest rating in the industry). Female patients have been impressed by this—the product is an exceptional moisturizer, and is light enough that make-up may be applied over it. Entering the summer season, this is a product that everyone can benefit from! For more information:

Reminder – do not use any of these products immediately before a radiation treatment.

The information in this posting is intended to be helpful and educational, but is not a substitute for professional medical advice. You can print detailed information about the products, including ingredients, and show them to your medical practitioner.