Effect of the Supplemental Use of Antioxidants Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Coenzyme Q10 for the Prevention and Treatment of Cancer

Published In: Evidence Report/Technology Assessment: no. 75 (Prepared By the Southern California/RAND Evidence-based Practice Center Under Contract no. 290-97-0001). AHRQ Publication no. 03-E047. Agency For Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. Aug. 2003

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 2002

by Paul G. Shekelle, Ian D. Coulter, Sally C. Morton, Jay Udani, Myles Spar, Karen Oda, Lara Hilton, Wenli Tu, Roberta M. Shanman, Sydne Newberry, Louis Ramirez, Di Valentine

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Patients with cancer commonly try a variety of nontraditional treatments that fit the broad category known as Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). However, evidence is lacking for the effectiveness of most CAM therapies for cancer. Among the CAM therapies publicized by the popular press for cancer treatment are several dietary antioxidants: vitamin C, vitamin E, and coenzyme Q10. The purpose of our study was to conduct a systematic review of the scientific literature to identify and assess the evidence for the efficacy of these three antioxidants for the prevention and treatment of cancer.

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