Send to

Choose Destination
Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2008 May;61(6):933-41. Epub 2007 Aug 1.

Augmented antioxidant status in Tamoxifen treated postmenopausal women with breast cancer on co-administration with Coenzyme Q10, Niacin and Riboflavin.

Author information

Department of Medical Biochemistry, Dr. ALMP-GIBMS, University of Madras, Taramani Campus, Chennai 600 113, Tamil Nadu, India.



Reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as superoxide anion, hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)), hydroxyl radical have been implicated in pathogenesis of various diseases including cancer and metastasis. Tamoxifen (TAM) is a non-steroidal anti-estrogen drug most widely used as an adjuvant hormonal therapy in breast cancer. TAM also has estrogenic activity on liver and endometrium causing severe oxidative stress and hypertriglycerdemia. Coenzyme Q(10) (CoQ(10)), Niacin and Riboflavin are well-known potent antioxidants and protective agents against many diseases including cancer. In this context, this study was undertaken to find if co-administration of CoQ(10), Niacin and Riboflavin along with TAM could augment the antioxidant (AO) status in postmenopausal women with breast cancer.


The vitamin supplementation with Tamoxifen was given for a period of 90 days. Blood samples were collected at the base line, 45th and 90th day during the course of treatment. Plasma lipids, lipid peroxides and various circulating enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants were estimated in 78 untreated, sole TAM treated and combinatorial treated group along with 46 age- and sex-matched controls.


Enhanced oxidative stress as evidenced by increased lipids and lipid peroxides with decreased AO levels in untreated breast cancer patients was observed. Adjuvant TAM-treated group had a limited impact on the increased oxidative stress with decreased AO status. Severe hypertriglycerdemia was observed in TAM-treated group when compared to untreated and control subjects. Combinatorial therapy (CT) of CoQ(10), Niacin and Riboflavin along with TAM decreased the oxidative stress and increased the AO status.


The antioxidant defense system is compromised in breast cancer patients. There is a shift in the oxidant / antioxidant balance in favor of lipid peroxidation (LPO), which could lead to tumour promotion observed in the disease. CT of CoQ(10), Niacin and Riboflavin along with TAM significantly increased the AO status, while decreasing lipid and lipid peroxides. The results suggest the necessity of therapeutic co-administration of antioxidants along with conventional drug to such patients. However, due to limited number of cases included in this study, more studies may be required to substantiate the results and arrive at a definitive conclusion, in terms of safety and efficacy of adding an AO therapy in treatment of breast cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center