Some in the oncology community contend that patients undergoing chemotherapy – radiation therapy should not use antioxidants and other nutrients. Oncologists contended, antioxidants interfere with radiation and some chemotherapies, and that folic acid interferes with methotrexate. This is despite the common use of amifostine and dexrazoxane, 2 prescription antioxidants, during chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy.
To assess all evidence concerning antioxidant and other nutrients used concomitantly with chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. The MEDLINE® and CANCERLIT® databases were searched from 1965 to November 2003 using the words vitamins, antioxidants, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Bibliographies of articles were searched. All studies reporting concomitant nutrient use with chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy (280 peer-reviewed articles including 62 in vitro and 218 in vivo) were indiscriminately included.
Fifty human clinical randomized or observational trials have been conducted, involving 8,521 patients using beta-carotene; vitamins A, C, and E; selenium; cysteine; B vitamins; vitamin D3; vitamin K3; and glutathione as single agents or in combination.
Since the 1970s, 468 peer-reviewed in vitro and in vivo studies, including 91 human studies involving 12,991 patients, 7,181 of whom were given nutrients, have consistently shown that they do not interfere with therapeutic modalities for cancer. Furthermore, non-prescription antioxidants and other nutrients enhance the killing of therapeutic modalities for cancer, decrease their side effects, and protect normal tissue.
In 26 human studies,5,238 patients who took non-prescription antioxidants and other nutrients actually had increased survival.
Charles B. Simone II, MD, and Nicole L. Simone, MD, are consulting physicians, Victoria Simone, RN, is a research nurse, and Charles B. Simone, MD, is a consulting physician and medical director, all at the Simone Protective Cancer Institute in Lawrenceville, NJ.
Altern Ther Health Med. 2007;13(2):40-46.