Anti-Oxidants with Radiation
Research Finds Antioxidant Therapies Do Not Interfere With Radiation Treatment
Medical News Today 14 Nov 2006
Cancer patients can get the vital nutritional benefits from taking antioxidants without the
risk of interfering with radiation treatment, according to research findings presented last
weekend at the Society of Integrative Oncology's Third International Conference in
The Society for Integrative Oncology is a non-profit organization of oncologists and other
health professionals studying and integrating effective complementary therapies in cancer
The study, Effect of Concomitant Naturopathic Therapies on Clinical Tumor Response to
External Beam Radiation Therapy for Prostate Cancer, was conducted by researchers at
Cancer Treatment Centers of
and reviewed PSA levels of prostate cancer patients America
after receiving radiation therapy. Researchers found no difference between patients taking
antioxidants and those who did not. Antioxidants used in the study included green tea
extract, melatonin, high-potency multivitamins, vitamin C and vitamin E. Cancer Treatment
Centers of America chose this study to address clinical concerns about the use of dietary
supplements in conjunction with conventional cancer therapies. The study addressed the
concern that antioxidants might interfere with cancer cell oxidation levels that contribute
to tumor killing by chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
"This study provides evidence that antioxidants as a complementary therapy
in cancer treatment do not interfere with external beam radiation therapy,"
said Timothy Birdsall, ND, vice president of integrative medicine for
Treatment Centers of and lead author of the paper. "Antioxidants America
are one of many complementary and alternative medicine (
that are crucial in today's fight against cancer."
Treating cancer with advanced radiation, chemotherapy and surgery remains
the best option for patients medically. But the side effects of these treatments
can devastate a patient physically and emotionally. Through a fully integrated
whole person care model, combining the best of traditional medicine with
scientifically supported complementary and alternative therapies, cancer
patients appear to be living a better quality of life.
"In cancer treatment today, we have to look beyond the traditional focus
of treating only the tumor," Birdsall said. "Cancer patients will be the first
to tell you that's not enough. The integrated, whole person approach to cancer
is highly valued, so much so that cancer patients and their caregivers are
seeking out complementary or alternative therapies on their own."
More than 80 percent of cancer patients report using some sort of
many of them without medical supervision. Taking supplements without supervision,
however, creates a huge patient safety risk.
Wort, for example, is taken by St. John's
some cancer patients to help lessen feelings of depression. But
Wort can St. John's
interfere with the effectiveness of some forms of chemotherapy, ultimately doing patients
more harm than good.