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Antioxidants Complement Radiation Treatment

Consuming antioxidants during radiation therapy may improve rather than interfere with treatment, report researchers at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America at The Society of Integrative Oncology's November 2006 Third International Conference in Boston.

Scientists have long been concerned that because antioxidant supplements protect tissues from free radicals, they may also protect cancerous tumors from the intended destructive effects of ionizing radiation when taken before or during radiation treatment.

In this study, prostate cancer patients who were given radiation therapy and no antioxidants were compared to those who underwent therapy and consumed green tea extract, melatonin, high-potency multivitamins, and vitamins C and E. Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels, a prostate cancer marker, did not differ between the two groups, demonstrating that the supplements did not impede the effects of radiation.

This finding is “evidence that antioxidants as a complementary therapy in cancer treatment do not interfere with external beam radiation therapy,” the researchers stated.


Available at: http://www.cancercenter.com/cancer-center-news/606.cfm. Accessed December 12, 2006.

Reprinted with exclusive permission of Life Extension.

Key concepts: antioxidant, cancer, radiation therapy