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Review
. 2003;46(1):1-14.
doi: 10.1207/S15327914NC4601_01.

Vitamin E: The Evidence for Multiple Roles in Cancer

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Review

Vitamin E: The Evidence for Multiple Roles in Cancer

Lillian Sung et al. Nutr Cancer. .

Abstract

There is accumulating evidence that vitamin E may have different roles in the prevention and treatment of cancer. The purpose of this review is to summarize and evaluate this evidence and to suggest future avenues of research. A comprehensive literature review of vitamin E and cancer was conducted. Articles were organized into the following categories: 1) cancer prevention, 2) direct antineoplastic activity, 3) augmentation of chemotherapy effects, and 4) attenuation or treatment of chemotherapy toxicity. The evidence was systematically evaluated using guidelines developed by the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force. There is evidence to suggest that those individuals with higher serum vitamin E levels and those receiving vitamin E supplementation have a decreased risk of some cancers, including lung, prostate, stomach, and gastrointestinal carcinoma. However, these results differed depending on the study design and the population studied. There is insufficient evidence to support anticancer activity and attenuation of chemotherapy toxicity by vitamin E. Vitamin E is likely to be important in the prevention of some cancers. The therapeutic role of vitamin E is poorly understood. Further research will be required before routine use of vitamin E in patients with cancer can be advocated in the clinical setting.

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