FLAVORx Enhances Treatment Options for Pediatric Oncology Patients

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Because of the struggles that young cancer patients face on a day to day basis during and after treatment, FLAVORx is dedicated to defining methods in which they can best accommodate their needs to make their situation that much more bearable. Working with several cancer-related medications and consumer responses, FLAVORx has discovered flavorings that improve several cancer medications' taste most effectively, and therefore improves patient quality of life.

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Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

It is estimated that approximately 12,400 children in the United States are diagnosed with cancer each year. The most common childhood cancers are leukemia, lymphomas, brain tumors and bone cancers. The frequency of cancer diagnoses has risen since the 1970’s. In each individual case, cancer patients and their families must endure the pain, uncertainty and disruptions caused to their lives as a result of the diagnosis. Recognition of the needs of these pediatric oncology patients and the opportunity to improve the quality of their lives has led FLAVORx to dedicate a targeted investigation on how they can best serve the needs of childhood cancer patients.

The chemotherapy, doctor’s exams, constant discomfort of their condition and the countless medications these children must tolerate, is more than even the strongest adult could endure. Beyond the physical and medical changes to a child’s lifestyle, diagnosis and treatment also cause feelings of fear, anxiety, anger, guilt, sadness and depression. Therefore, any way of making these children’s lives a little easier, a little less painful and a little less traumatic is what FLAVORx strives for. Succeeding in this manner is what sets FLAVORx apart as a company dedicated to understanding the needs and situations of all children.

Medications used during cancer treatment are essential to alleviate or eradicate the signs of cancer from the body and can be classified into two groups: antineoplastic (cancer-fighting) or immuno-suppression (lessening the body’s reaction). These include drugs that can prevent infection, like antibiotics, or drugs that treat side effects such as nausea and pain. FLAVORx testing and research with children has shown that some flavors mask the existing tastes of certain medications better than others. Of the following common cancer medications, here are some of the most effective flavors:

1. Zofran (for nausea associated with chemotherapy)- Raspberry, Natural Orange, Bubblegum

2. Phenergan (for nausea associated with chemotherapy)- Grape, Sour Apple, Peaches and Cream

3. Acyclovir (to prevent viral infections)- Orange Cream, Banana, Cherry

4. Septra/Bactrim (to prevent some types of pneumonia)- Grape, Bubblegum, Watermelon

5. Vancomycin (an antibiotic)- Vanilla, Strawberry Cream, Grape/Bubblegum

6. Roxanol (to relieve pain)- Grape, Raspberry, Orange Cream

Because FLAVORx flavors are inert, non-allergenic, sugar-free, alcohol-free, very concentrated, as well as gluten and casein-free, they do not affect the efficacy of the medication and also comply with any specific dietary restraints (to reduce the risk of infection from food) that many oncology patients must follow.

Many years ago, a father came to FLAVORx with a problem. His young son had an inoperable brain tumor and was on a very strict regimen of medications. In anticipation of the medications’ taste, the young boy would become nauseated hours before he had to take them everyday, and simply could not keep them down. With no foreseeable solution, his parents were told if he couldn't ingest the medications necessary for his survival, they would have no choice but to return him to the hospital and administer the medications intravenously. Needlessly readmitting their son to the hospital would add unnecessary strain and suffering to an already unbearable situation. The family knew he would only be comfortable in a home setting, not in a cold, sterile hospital. They finally found FLAVORx and Kenny asked the entire family to come in to see how he could help. Kenny asked the little boy to name his favorite flavor, and without hesitation, he responded “Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.” Kenny created a formulation using a combination of peanut butter and chocolate flavoring to pair with each of his medications.After that the young boy was able to take all of his medicine without opposition. Sadly, he only lived for eight more months but his final months were spent at home with his family and those that loved him, surrounded by familiarity. Kenny recalls, “Knowing that we were able to bring this child a little happiness at the end of his life is a feeling that I will never forget. It was a feeling of triumph over an otherwise cold world that for the most part didn’t do all it could to help a little boy, and value the importance of his life. I will always remember him and feel we succeeded by helping him and his family. After this, I vowed I would never let another child’s health and happiness fall by the wayside if I could help it.”

It is extremely important that children with compromised immunity, as in the case of cancer, take all medications prescribed by their physicians as they are precisely directed. FLAVORx has improved treatment quality in administering medicines by alleviating the unnecessary strain, trauma and more importantly, ramifications of medicinal non-compliance by improving the taste of unpalatable medications. FLAVORx President and CEO, Kenny Kramm, has brought increased pediatric oncology awareness to his company, as well as a heightened dedication to patient needs. FLAVORx offers 42 scientifically developed and safety-tested flavors to cover both over-the-counter and prescription medications and is available at most pharmacies nationwide.

For more information, please contact Teresa Chen at 800.884.5771, extension 234.

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Teresa Chen
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