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Antioxidants and Chemotherapy Conflict Report

DO ANTIOXIDANTS AND CHEMOTHERAPY CONFLICT?

For November 20, 2005

There is no doubt that the combined prestige of America's largest private cancer center (MSKCC), wealthiest health charity (ACS), and the world's largest daily newspaper (with an international circulation of 2.6 million), has created yet more negative publicity for antioxidants in general, and for their concurrent use with radiation and chemotherapy in particular. With every such attack, educated public opinion becomes increasingly uncertain about the benefits of these dietary components. But although the complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) movement cannot command the fire power of these giant institutions, thoughtful readers will want to probe behind the alarmist headlines and see how substantive are the charges against this use of nutritional medicine.

I have now written a full-length rebuttal of Dr. D'Andrea's article. In preparing this monograph I consulted closely with physicians who are actively involved in research on the topic, some of whom routinely use antioxidants in their practice. Here are some of their pre-publication comments on my article:

"An excellent article that clearly brings into perspective the issues raised."
-Kenneth A. Conklin, MD, PhD, University of California, Los Angeles

"Excellent and timely." -Jeanne Drisko, MD, University of Kansas Medical Center

"Superb, very thorough, should convince anyone except those whose minds are closed." -Abram Hoffer, MD, PhD, FRCP (C)

"A comprehensive rebuttal that is also an excellent review of this complex topic." -Leanna Standish, ND, PhD, Bastyr University, Seattle

Overall, I conclude that D'Andrea's article:

  • Cites ambiguous and/or negative studies but simultaneously downplays (and frequently fails to mention) positive ones.
  • Claims (correctly) that only large-scale, randomized trials provide a valid basis for therapeutic recommendations, yet uses only laboratory data to back up the claim that harm results from the use of antioxidants.
  • Exaggerates the degree to which the laboratory data diverge in regard to the safety and efficacy of antioxidant therapy, calling such data "conflicting and confusing." In fact, the great preponderance of data suggests a harmless or even a synergistic effect with most high-dose dietary antioxidants.
  • Is inconsistent in its recommendations, since antioxidants are found naturally in common foods; yet Dr. D'Andrea does not extend her warning to include antioxidant-rich foods, especially fruit and vegetables.
  • Ignores the wide-scale use by both medical and radiation oncologists of synthetic antioxidants given by prescription in order to control the adverse effects of chemotherapy and radiation.
  • Resorts to "red herring" arguments, citing negative studies in the realm of cancer prevention, rather than quoting studies that focus on the specific issue of concurrent treatment.


A version of this monograph will also be published in a medical journal in Spring 2006. However, I have specifically adapted a pre-publication version of the monograph in order to make it accessible to readers who do not necessarily have a scientific background or any prior knowledge of the subject.

We are offering this publication in electronic format. After purchasing, you can then print it out for your doctor, family members or friends.

The price is US $9.95.

In my opinion, the attack on antioxidants is the thin end of the wedge of a much broader attack against the complementary (CAM) approach to cancer. In fact, it is no exaggeration to say that the entire existence of a more humane form of cancer treatment is now imperiled by the coordinated power of medical orthodoxy. By purchasing this report you will be supporting an important effort to set the record straight about the actual track record of both chemotherapy and complementary medicine and to defend a patient's right to choose less harmful treatments.

I hope that all our readers will support this effort to preserve a simple and inexpensive mode of therapy from unfair attack. Your financial support at this juncture is absolutely necessary if we are to continue to build support for less toxic approaches to cancer treatment.

MPORTANT DISCLAIMER

The news and other items in this newsletter are intended for informational purposes only. Nothing in this newsletter is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice.

Source Cancerdecisions.com

Last Updated ( Jun 28, 2006 at 04:26 AM )