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Free Radic Res. 2003 Feb;37(2):213-23.

The impact of different antioxidant agents alone or in combination on reactive oxygen species, antioxidant enzymes and cytokines in a series of advanced cancer patients at different sites: correlation with disease progression.

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Department of Medical Oncology, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy.


In the present study we tested the ability of different antioxidant agents, used alone or in combination, to reduce the reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels and to increase the glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity. Moreover, we tested the ability of such antioxidant agents to reduce the serum levels of proinflammatory cytokines IL-6 and TNFalpha. Fifty-six advanced stage cancer patients with tumors at different sites were included in the study: they were mainly stage III (12.5%) and stage IV (82.1%). The study was divided into two phases. In the 1st phase 28 patients were divided into five groups and a single different antioxidant agent was administered to each group. The selected antioxidant agents were: alpha lipoic acid or carboxycysteine-lysine salt, amifostine, reduced glutathione, vitamin A plus vitamin E plus Vitamin C. In the 2nd phase of the study 28 patients were divided into five groups and a combination of two different antioxidant agents was administered to each group. The antioxidant treatment was administered for 10 consecutive days. The patients were studied at baseline and after antioxidant treatment. Our results show that all single antioxidants tested were effective in reducing the ROS levels and three of them in increasing GPx activity, too. Among the combinations of antioxidant agents, three were effective in reducing ROS, while three were effective in increasing GPx activity (arm 4 was effective in both instances). Comprehensively, the "antioxidant treatment" was found to be effective both on ROS levels and GPx activity. Moreover, the antioxidant treatment was able to reduce serum levels of IL-6 and TNFalpha. Furthermore, a correlation was shown between the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Performance Status of patients and blood levels of ROS, GPx activity, serum levels of proinflammatory cytokines.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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