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Vitamins C And D Benefit Patients During Intensive Chemotherapy
Posted: Mar 05, 2024
Vitamins C And D Benefit Patients During Intensive Chemotherapy image

A recent study suggests that vitamin C and D supplementation benefits AML patients. For those who are receiving intense chemotherapy, these additional vitamins have shown improved outcomes for side effects and better overall survival. 

“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to examine the potential effects of vitamin C and D supplementation during intensive chemotherapy for AML. We have shown that supplementation is feasible and safe and may help reduce some significant adverse events associated with intensive chemotherapy, which is a clear benefit for patients.”

Study Details And Side Effects

Previous studies indicated that higher doses of vitamin D were associated with a reduced risk of relapse after transplant. In 2018, researchers began their study with 431 patients (262 receiving no supplementation and 169 receiving supplementation). Vitamins were administered weekly.

In the study, the median age for women was 65, while the median for men was 60. At the time of diagnosis, most patients were low in both vitamins. During intensive chemotherapy, those patients who were given vitamin treatment experienced fewer side effects than those who remained in the control group:

  • Bacterial infections: 27.2 % versus 31.5% in the control group.
  • Bleeding: 1.8% versus 5.7% in the control group.
  • Inflammation of the immune system: 1.8% versus 8.8% in the control group.
  • The overall survival median for both groups was 34.5 months.

The NPM1 Mutation

A surprising subgroup of this study was found in the AML patients with the NPM1 mutation. This mutation is the most common in AML and accounts for 30%-35% of those living with the disease. Study results indicated a 48% reduced risk of death compared to patients without this mutation. 

Researchers suspect that vitamin D may induce differentiation (how cancer cells develop and are organized in the tissue) for those with the NPM1 mutation. Further investigation is needed. “Vitamins C and D have long been tested in other cancers without clear breakthrough. In the case of AML, however, there is a specific reason to think that supplementing these vitamins may benefit the patient.”

A Promising Breakthrough

Vitamins C and D are safe and effective for patients receiving intensive chemotherapy. Researchers did not analyze the independent effect of each vitamin, only the combination.

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The author Lisa Foster

about the author
Lisa Foster

Lisa Foster is a mom of 3 daughters, a puzzle lover, writer and HealthTree advocate. She believes in the mission of the foundation and the team that builds it forward. She calls Houston, Texas home. 

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