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The Antioxidant Debate 

The Antioxidant Debate
Chapter:
The Antioxidant Debate
Author(s):

Elena J. Ladas

and Kara M. Kelly

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199329724.003.0010
Page of

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date: 20 October 2019

Chapter 10 cover the antioxidant debate, including the use of antioxidant supplements in combination with conventional chemotherapy and radiotherapy to enhance the anticancer activity and to reduce the side effects of conventional treatment, that while some evidence suggests that antioxidants may be beneficial (e.g., enhancing survival, reducing toxicity), other evidence suggests that antioxidants may reduce the efficacy of cancer therapy, that not all chemotherapy agents rely on oxidative stress for anticancer activity, how several studies have shown that plasma concentrations of antioxidants are depleted in individuals undergoing treatment for cancer and that this decrease may be associated with therapy-related toxicities, how the role of antioxidants for the treatment of cancer remains unclear, that the efficacy of antioxidants as part of a supportive care regimen is limited, how the use of ?-carotene and vitamin E supplements in conjunction with radiation therapy is contraindicated and should be avoided, especially among smokers, and that, while the results from clinical trials for some antioxidants appear to be encouraging, health-care providers should be cautious about recommending antioxidant supplements during chemotherapy until adequately powered clinical studies are available to guide clinical practice.

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