Sacramento's Own World-Renowned Chef and Cancer Survivor Biba Caggiano Shares Ingredients for Helping Cancer Patients Find Strength for Living

Recent Study Shows Majority of Cancer Patients Believe Healthy Eating Promotes

Strength During Chemotherapy Treatment

Nov 14, 2005, 00:00 ET from Ortho Biotech Products, L.P.

    SACRAMENTO, Calif., Nov. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Culinary expert, restaurateur
 and cancer survivor Biba Caggiano is leading a new educational program --
 Strength for Living -- focused on the important role nutrition can play for
 cancer patients.  Today, Biba -- a resident of Sacramento for 35 years -- will
 be visiting with patients at Sutter Cancer Center where she will share her
 experiences with breast cancer, offer important nutritional tips and
 demonstrate some of her favorite recipes, designed to meet the unique needs of
 those undergoing chemotherapy treatment.  Biba's husband, Dr. Vincent
 Caggiano, a well-respected oncologist at Sutter Cancer Center, also will offer
 words of advice from both a physician's and a caregiver's perspective.
     Side effects of chemotherapy can make it difficult for cancer patients to
 follow life's most basic routines.  Nausea, loss of appetite and altered
 ability to taste can make getting proper nutrition a daily challenge, but
 other side effects pose challenges, as well.  Anemia affects up to two-thirds
 of all chemotherapy patients, which could potentially leave them feeling tired
 and weak.  Many patients don't mention these symptoms to their doctors,
 because they expect to be tired while undergoing chemotherapy and are unaware
 that treatments are available for their anemia.  Strength for Living is a
 resource designed to help cancer patients overcome challenges, such as anemia,
 and return to doing the things they love.
     "Like so many cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, I was weak from
 anemia.  I took control of the situation, spoke to my doctor and, with the
 help of PROCRIT(R) (Epoetin alfa), I was able to feel better and get back to
 what's important to me -- cooking and running my restaurant," explained Biba.*
 "I want to encourage other people who are facing chemotherapy to take back as
 much of their lives as possible -- even with something as simple as being able
 to enjoy meals with their loved ones."
     Nutrition is a key element in helping patients undergoing chemotherapy
 treatment feel better, both physically and mentally.  A national survey of 250
 cancer patients conducted by a major cancer service organization in New York
 City found that nearly two-thirds or 65.6 percent of patients undergoing
 chemotherapy believed that proper nutrition was an important source of
 strength in coping with cancer and cancer treatments.
     "Patients undergoing chemotherapy often face challenges getting proper
 nutrition due to the loss of appetite and taste, and development of mouth
 sores," explained Biba's husband, Vincent Caggiano, M.D., F.A.C.P., research
 medical director, Sutter Cancer Center, Sacramento, Calif.  "The Strength for
 Living program addresses nutrition, a quality of life issue that is essential
 to many cancer patients, just as it was for Biba."
     Strength for Living is sponsored by Ortho Biotech Products, L.P.  For more
 information about Strength for Living, along with Biba's recipes, or to gain
 access to resources for newly diagnosed cancer patients and their caregivers,
 please visit
     * Individual treatment results may vary.
     Tips on Nutrition
     Following are nutritional tips addressing common side effects experienced
     by patients undergoing cancer treatment.
     For those prone to nausea or vomiting:
     * Sip apple juice, grape juice or cool, lightly carbonated, caffeine-free
     * Eat five or six little meals throughout the day, making sure to eat
       slowly and chew your food well.
     * Stay away from sweet, spicy, fatty, fried or strong-smelling foods.
     * Relax and stay seated for an hour after meals to allow foods to settle.
     * Avoid negative association with favorite foods by not eating them
       immediately following treatment.
     For those who develop throat and mouth sores:
     * Eat soft foods such as milkshakes, bananas, mashed potatoes, scrambled
       eggs and yogurt.
     * Avoid acidic, spicy or salty foods, and rough foods such as popcorn,
       toast and raw vegetables.
     For those whose taste sensations change:
     * Marinate meats and cook with herbs to enhance flavors.
     * Add sauces to dishes -- this will also make food easier to chew.
     * Rinse your mouth with water prior to meals.
     For those who experience loss of appetite:
     * Eat in pleasant settings, with friends or in front of the TV as a
     * Dress up food with garnishes or by serving it on favorite dishes.
     * Have snacks handy in case hunger develops between meals.
     * Arrange a schedule for your meals and snacks -- and keep to it even when
       not hungry.
     As always, side effects from treatments and approaches to nutrition should
 be discussed with a healthcare professional.
     About the Survey
     A major cancer service organization in New York City conducted telephone
 and online interviews with 250 cancer patients aged 18 years and older from
 across the country who have undergone treatment with chemotherapy.  Interviews
 were conducted from February 22 through March 18, 2005.  The tolerance for
 this survey is +/-3.7 percentage points on a base of 250 at the 95 percent
 confidence level.
     About PROCRIT(R)
     PROCRIT(R) is for the treatment of chemotherapy-related anemia in patients
 with most types of cancer.  PROCRIT is available by prescription only and is
 injected by your doctor or nurse.
     Important Safety Information
     PROCRIT is not for patients with uncontrolled high blood pressure.  High
 blood pressure has been noted rarely in cancer patients treated with PROCRIT
 and blood pressure should be monitored carefully.  Drugs like PROCRIT may
 increase the risk of blood clots.  In studies, the most common side effects
 included fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, edema, shortness of breath,
 tingling, and upper respiratory infection.
     Please visit for Important Product information.
     About Ortho Biotech Products, L.P.
     In 1990, Ortho Biotech Products, L.P. was established in Raritan, N.J.
 Since that time, Ortho Biotech and its worldwide affiliates have earned a
 global reputation for researching, manufacturing and marketing innovative
 healthcare products that enhance patients' health.  Ortho Biotech, located in
 Bridgewater, N.J., is an established market leader in Epoetin alfa therapy for
 anemia management.

SOURCE Ortho Biotech Products, L.P.