While we patiently await a substantive response from Roche Pharmaceuticals on this topic, thanks to Monique Doyle Spencer, the word is spreading about a simple antidote to the painful and disabling hand-foot syndrome side-effect of the company's important cancer drug, Xeloda. Look at this example, from someone named Shin. An excerpt:
I tried the henna remedy for chemo-induced Hand-Foot Syndrome last night and it worked!
Granted, my feet had already begun healing, so there were no more open bleeding or pus-oozing wounds, but the skin was still very thin, raw, and tender (and peeling off in small patches), that I was still having some trouble walking.
I'm scheduled to start a new chemo regimen in two days, so I was worried that my feet weren't ready to take the new onslaught of chemo and Hand-Foot Syndrome, but after just one night with the natural henna remedy, my feet feel ready to take it on!
So Monique, with no financial resources and just the power of an op-ed article and her own blog, seems to have had more influence in spreading the word about this antidote to a painful and disabling side-effect than Roche Pharmaceuticals. For fun, do a Google search on any combination of Xeloda, henna, hand-foot syndrome, and see for yourself. After the original journal article by some scientists from Turkey, most references to this topic derive from Monique's initiative.
I am trying to be considerate in how I write this, because I know that pharmaceutical companies do marvelous things in terms of drug development and availability, and I also know that they are subject to all kinds of regulatory constraints and legal concerns. But is there anybody at Roche among its 78,000 employees who cares about this topic as much as this cancer patient from Boston?