I am frequently asked this by patients because they have been advised not to take supplements during treatment. The scientific literature has clearly addressed this question:
•The early clinical studies were performed at the National Cancer Institute using an antioxidant called N-Acetyl Cysteine that was found to protect the heart from the cardiac toxicity of adriamycin, but did not interfere with the tumor-killing capability of the drug. An antioxidant, dexrazoxane (ICRF-187), protects the heart from the effects of adriamycin without affecting the antitumor effect. Cellular studies, animal studies, and human studies demonstrate that vitamins A, E, C, and K, beta-carotene and selenium, as single agents or in combination, all protect against the toxicity of adriamycin and enhance its cancer-killing effects.
•In vitro cellular studies and animal studies using vitamins C, A, K, E, D, B6, B12, beta-carotene, selenium, or cysteine as single agents or in combination given concomitantly with chemotherapy, or tamoxifen, or interferon alpha-2b, or radiation, or combinations of these modalities show the same effect: Increased tumor killing and increased protection of normal tissues.
•Human studies involving over 1,960 patients have been done using single or multiple nutrients in combination with systemic treatment and/or radiation treatment demonstrating that nutrients produce a higher response rate, lower side effects, and even increased survival.
There are many effective and supportive measures available to patients who may be undergoing Chemotherapy and/or Radiation Therapy. I have always been dedicated in my practice to being knowledgeable about these measures and how they are applicable for my patients suffering from cancer.