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Antioxidants and Other Nutrients Do Not Interfere With Chemotherapy Or Radiation Therapy and Can Increase Kill And Increase Survival, Part 1

Charles B. Simone II, MD; Nicole L. Simone, MD; Victoria Simone, RN; Charles B. Simone, MD

Abstract
Two of every 5 Americans will develop cancer, and the incidence of most cancers has increased annually since 1930.1-5 In addition, since 1930, despite the use of radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and improved surgical and diagnostic techniques, there has been limited improvement in cancer survival rates for most adult cancers.1-5 Chemotherapy and radiation therapy, however, continue to have a large role in cancer treatment but produce great morbidity. Two prescription medicines, amifostine and dexrazoxane, both antioxidants, reduce cancer therapy side effects without interfering with antitumor killing. Amifostine (WR-2721) is an antioxidant analog of cysteamine that was discovered by the armed forces at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC, and became the first antioxidant agent to be approved by international regulatory agencies.6 According to 29 studies, amifostine reduces side effects and increases response rates of chemotherapy and radiation therapy without interfering with their antitumor killing activity.6-18 Twenty-one studies indicate that dexrazoxane (ICRF-187) protects the heart from adriamycin toxicity without interfering with the antitumor effect19-22 by chelating iron that would otherwise form free radicals.23-26

Despite the common use of amifostine and dexrazoxane, and in direct opposition to clear scientific findings since the 1970s, many patients have been told not to use food supplement antioxidants and other nutrients while undergoing chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy because there is an erroneous but seemingly logical belief that antioxidants interfere with radiation and some chemotherapies because those modalities kill by generating free radicals that are neutralized by antioxidants, and another erroneous belief that folic acid interferes with methotrexate.27-32

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