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

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was 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.

  • 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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