The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    If you found the information here helpful, please consider supporting this site.If you found the information here helpful, please consider supporting this site.

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

    Is it risky taking antioxidants during cancer treatment?

    Researchers from Columbia University in New York City looked at the evidence in breast cancer patients.

    First, the details.

    • They found 22 articles worth reviewing.
    • Antioxidants included vitamin C, vitamin E, antioxidant combinations, multivitamins, glutamine, glutathione, melatonin, or soy isoflavones.
    • Each antioxidant was given during chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and/or hormonal therapy for breast cancer.

    And, the results.

    • There was no increased risk for negative effects of individual antioxidants on toxicity, tumor response, cancer recurrence, or survival during breast cancer treatment.
    • A few studies suggested that antioxidants might decrease the side effects associated with treatment.
      • Vitamin E for hot flashes due to hormonal therapy
      • Glutamine for inflamed mucous membranes
    • Weak studies suggested that melatonin might enhance tumor response during treatment.

    The bottom line?
    The authors concluded, “The evidence is currently insufficient [to guide] the use of antioxidant supplements during breast cancer treatment.”

    OK, but a recent study under laboratory conditions (not in patients) found that pretreatment with vitamin C caused a dose-dependent reduction in the anti-cancer effects of doxorubicin (Adriamycin), cisplatinum (Cisplatin), vincristine (Oncovin), methotrexate, and imatinib (Gleevec) in leukemia and lymphoma cells.

    10/22/08 20:47 JR

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