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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2008 Feb 1;70(2):368-73. Epub 2007 Nov 5.

Effects of zinc supplementation on clinical outcomes in patients receiving radiotherapy for head and neck cancers: a double-blinded randomized study.

Author information

1
Department of Radiation Oncology, Chi-Mei Foundation Medical Center, Taiwan, Republic of China. 8508A6@mail.chimei.org.tw

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To evaluate the impact of zinc supplementation on the survival of patients after receiving radiotherapy for head and neck cancers.

METHODS AND MATERIALS:

Patients were randomly divided into two groups; experimental and control. Patients in the experimental group received a predetermined dose of a zinc supplement, and the control group, a placebo. The 50 patients in each group could be considered homogenous with respect to medical histories, tumor characteristics, and therapeutic details.

RESULTS:

Patients in both groups appeared to have similar results for 3-year overall, disease-free, and metastases-free survival rates (p = 0.19, p = 0.54, and p = 0.35, respectively). However, patients in the experimental group had better 3-year local-free survival (LFS), although the difference was only marginal (p = 0.092). Another difference was that patients in the experimental group with Stages III-IV disease had a much better 3-year LFS rate when they received concurrent chemoradiotherapy (p = 0.003).

CONCLUSIONS:

One impact seen was that zinc supplementation improved LFS at 3 years after beginning treatment for patients with Stages III-IV disease. It is imperative that these patients be followed up for a longer period to draw a definite conclusion.

PMID:
17980503
DOI:
10.1016/j.ijrobp.2007.06.073
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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