Antioxidants Support Tumor Growth? - 1261902

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kwieder
Antioxidants Support Tumor Growth? - 1261902

There was a report last week casting doubt on advisability of using antioxidant supplements and perhaps even a diet that incorporates quantities of antioxidant foods.....

"Though researchers only examined the effects of vitamin E and NAC, they cited a body of evidence that suggests that other antioxidants may also fuel cancer cells, not thwart them. According to the National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), clinical trials of antioxidant supplements have repeatedly failed to prove claims that they help prevent conditions like heart attacks, strokes, dementia, or cancers.
'If anything, if you look at all of them, antioxidants do not protect against cancer. They may increase the risk,” lead researcher Martin Bergo of the Sahlgrenska Cancer Center told reporters this week.
The researchers say their findings suggest that antioxidant therapy is unsafe for smokers, patients with early-stage lung cancer, and people with COPD. However, they said their study only addressed the impact of antioxidants on tumor progression, not initiation or prevention.'
Acknowledging that more studies are needed, Bergo agreed that antioxidants should be used with care in persons with lung cancer or those at a high risk of developing it."

Pubmed: Sci Transl Med. 2014 Jan 29;6(221):221ra15. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3007653

Many friends have offered 'dietary' advice for my wife's lung cancer treatment, almost all of which suggests use of antioxidants. Is all the green tea and kale she's ingesting not only useless, but perhaps even dangerous?

JimC
Reply To: Antioxidants Support Tumor Growth?

Hi kwieder,

Many doctors feel that there is a significant distinction between high-dose antioxidant supplement and/or extreme diets versus getting antioxidants through normal dietary intake. As Dr. West has stated:

"As for anti-oxidants, the idea is that anti-oxidants can actually reduce the effectiveness of the chemo and radiation, though in truth this is more of a concern for higher doses of vitamins than dietary levels, unless you were on a very strict/extreme diet. I generally recommend that my patients follow a balanced, varied diet and not go way out of the way to avoid particular foods in moderation, nor to focus on consuming large amounts of any one or two kinds of foods either." - http://cancergrace.org/forums/index.php?topic=4854.msg29474#msg29474

There's also an interesting interview with Dr. Bufi on the subject of diet and supplements: http://cancergrace.org/cancer-101/files/2009/02/dr-bufi-interview-transc...

JimC
Forum moderator

<p>I began visiting GRACE in July, 2008 when my wife Liz was diagnosed with lung cancer, and became a forum moderator in January, 2010. My beloved wife of 30 years passed away Nov. 4, 2011 after battling stage IV lung cancer for 3 years and 4 months</p>

Dr West
Reply To: Antioxidants Support Tumor Growth?

Jim delivered probably the most relevant bits of information. It's also worth bearing in mind that this is "preclinical", lab-based work, and not actual results in patients. We regularly see preclinical work that purports to find the next astonishing cancer breakthrough, and just as often I remind people that there is a major difference between findings in test tubes or animal models and findings in actual humans with cancer. This applies whether we're talking about a concern for danger as well as a potential new treatment, since conditions in a lab are not often replicated in a far more complex real world setting.

That said, I think it's important to NOT presume that anti-oxidants are beneficial for cancer and should be taken in high quantities, especially in mega-doses outside of just what you'd get in a balanced diet.

-Dr. West

+++++++++++++++++++++++++
Dr. Howard (Jack) West
Associate Clinical Professor
Medical Oncology
City of Hope Cancer Center
Duarte, CA

Founder & President
Global Resource for Advancing
Cancer Education

Dr West
Reply To: Antioxidants Support Tumor Growth?

Jim delivered probably the most relevant bits of information. It's also worth bearing in mind that this is "preclinical", lab-based work, and not actual results in patients. We regularly see preclinical work that purports to find the next astonishing cancer breakthrough, and just as often I remind people that there is a major difference between findings in test tubes or animal models and findings in actual humans with cancer. This applies whether we're talking about a concern for danger as well as a potential new treatment, since conditions in a lab are not often replicated in a far more complex real world setting.

That said, I think it's important to NOT presume that anti-oxidants are beneficial for cancer and should be taken in high quantities, especially in mega-doses outside of just what you'd get in a balanced diet.

-Dr. West

+++++++++++++++++++++++++
Dr. Howard (Jack) West
Associate Clinical Professor
Medical Oncology
City of Hope Cancer Center
Duarte, CA

Founder & President
Global Resource for Advancing
Cancer Education