Charles B. Simone II, MD; Nicole L. Simone, MD; Victoria Simone, RN; Charles B. Simone, MD
Two of every 5 Americans will develop cancer, and the incidence of most cancers has increased annually since 1930.In addition, since 1930, despite the use of radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and improved surgical and diagnostic tech- niques, there has been limited improvement in cancer survival rates for most adult cancers. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy, however, continue to have a large role in cancer treatment but produce great morbidity. Two prescription medicines, amifostine and dexrazoxane, both antioxidants, reduce cancer therapy side effects without interfering with antitumor killing. Amifostine (WR-2721) is an antioxidant analog of cysteamine that was discovered by the armed forces at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC, and became the first antioxidant agent to be approved by international regulatory agencies. According to 29 studies, amifostine reduces side effects and increases response rates of chemotherapy and radiation therapy without interfering with their antitumor killing activity. Twenty-one studies indicate that dexrazoxane (ICRF-187) pro- tects the heart from adriamycin toxicity without interfering with the antitumor effect19-22 by chelating iron that would otherwise form free radicals.
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