Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Antioxidants May Aid Chemotherapy Patients

Date:
April 27, 2007
Source:
Block Center for Integrative Cancer Treatment
Summary:
There is no evidence that antioxidant supplements interfere with the therapeutic effects of chemotherapy agents, according to a recent systematic review of the use of antioxidants during chemotherapy. In fact, they may help increase survival rates, tumor response, and the patient's ability to tolerate treatment.

There is no evidence that antioxidant supplements interfere with the therapeutic effects of chemotherapy agents, according to a recent systematic review of the use of antioxidants during chemotherapy, available in the May, 2007 issue of the peer-reviewed journal Cancer Treatment Reviews. In fact, they may help increase survival rates, tumor response, and the patient’s ability to tolerate treatment.

This conclusion has important implications for patients whose oncologists discourage the use of antioxidant supplements during treatment. Until now, their concern has been that these supplements may counteract the tumor-shrinking abilities of the chemotherapy.

“This review demonstrates that there is no scientific support for the blanket objection to using antioxidants during chemotherapy. In addition, it also appears that these supplements may help mitigate the side effects of chemotherapy,” said Keith I. Block, MD, lead author of the study and Medical Director of the Block Center for Integrative Cancer Treatment. “This is significant because it increases the likelihood that patients will be able to complete their treatment.”

Co-author Dr. Robert Newman, Professor of Cancer Medicine at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center said, “This study, along with the evolving understanding of antioxidant-chemotherapy interactions, suggests that the previously held beliefs about interference do not pertain to clinical treatment.”

The analysis, titled “Impact of Antioxidant Supplementation on Chemotherapeutic Efficacy: A Systematic Review of the Evidence from Randomized Controlled Trials,” evaluated 845 articles from five scientific databases that examined the effects of taking natural antioxidant supplements concurrent with chemotherapy.

Out of the 845 studies that were analyzed, 19 met all evaluation criteria. These included the use of randomized trials with a control group, and the reporting of treatment response (tumor shrinkage) and survival data. The 1,554 patients represented had a variety of cancer types, and most had advanced or relapsed disease. Some of the antioxidants used in the trials included glutathione, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, ellagic acid, selenium and beta carotene.

Among the findings:

  • All of the studies that included survival data showed similar or better survival rates for the antioxidant group than the control group.
  • None of the trials supported the theory that antioxidant supplements diminish the effectiveness of chemotherapy treatments.
  • All but one of the studies that reported treatment response showed similar or better response in the antioxidant group than in the control group.
  • 15 of 17 trials that assessed chemotherapy toxicities, including diarrhea, weight loss, nerve damage and low blood counts, concluded that the antioxidant group suffered similar or lower rates of these side effects than the control group.

The authors noted that reducing side effects may help patients avoid having to cut back on their chemotherapy dosing, interrupt scheduled treatments, or abandon treatment altogether. This in turn, is likely to favorably impact treatment outcomes. A recent study of a group of colon cancer patients indicated that those who completed their full prescribed schedules of chemotherapy had survival rates nearly double those of patients who abandoned their chemotherapy treatment prematurely.

This new study encourages further exploration of the potential importance of antioxidant supplements as a means of improving cancer survival.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Block Center for Integrative Cancer Treatment. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Block Center for Integrative Cancer Treatment. "Antioxidants May Aid Chemotherapy Patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 April 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070426132954.htm>.
Block Center for Integrative Cancer Treatment. (2007, April 27). Antioxidants May Aid Chemotherapy Patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070426132954.htm
Block Center for Integrative Cancer Treatment. "Antioxidants May Aid Chemotherapy Patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070426132954.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is blaming doctors for the low number of children being vaccinated for HPV. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins