Antioxidants in the Treatment of Cancer

Nutr Cancer. 2017 Nov-Dec;69(8):1099-1104. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2017.1362445. Epub 2017 Oct 18.


Several clinical trials have produced conflicting results regarding the benefit of antioxidants in cancer therapy thus questioning the incorporation of these substances in standard treatment regimens. Vitamins E and C, selenium, carotenoids, lycopene, soy products, and green tea extract are a few substances with antioxidant properties that have been studied in detail. This article reviews the results generated over the last 20 years through in vitro and in vivo studies in various types of cancers and stages of cancer treatment. Despite the commercial popularity and the multitude of studies examining antioxidant therapy, the true role of antioxidants is yet to be determined, requiring further investigation into its propagative, causal, or protective nature.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Drug Interactions
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Radiotherapy
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Reactive Oxygen Species