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ANTIOXIDANT VITAMINS TO BE EVALUATED WITH TUMOR THERAPIES UNDER OAM GRANT

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

ANTIOXIDANT VITAMINS TO BE EVALUATED WITH TUMOR THERAPIES UNDER OAM GRANT awarded this year, according to a National Institutes of Health listing of grant recipients. Headed by principal investigator Kedar Prasad, PhD, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, the in vitro study will "investigate the effects of individual [vitamins] and a mixture of high doses of antioxidant vitamins in combination with radiation and chemotherapeutic agents on the survival and growth of human melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma in culture," an abstract of the study says. The abstract explains that while individual vitamins -- such as retinoids, beta carotene, vitamin C and vitamin H -- have been examined for their effect "on the growth and differentiation of certain tumor cells in vitro," the effects of a high dose combination of these vitamins has yet to be studied in a "systematic manner." The study, the abstract states, will ascertain whether the growth inhibitory effect of therapeutic agents on tumor cells is enhanced by high doses of vitamin mixture. If the vitamin mixture shows an adjunctive effect, a protocol involving "two treatment arms, one with conventional therapy and the other with conventional therapy plus high doses of a mixture of vitamins," will be proposed for the treatment of melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma. The antioxidant study was one of 30 grants awarded by the National Institutes of Health's Office of Alternative Medicine (OAM) for fiscal 1993. The awards totaled $ 900,000. Directed at research to "investigate and validate alternative medicine practices," the awards will support a range of studies including an evaluation of the health benefits of homeopathy by researchers at the University of California. The grants awarded by OAM were presented to investigators representing institutions located in 21 different states and the District of Columbia.
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