The Use of Alpha-Lipoic Acid as Adjuvant Therapy in Breast Cancer Patients: Quasi-Experimental Study

نانسي يعقوب نشوان | Nancy Yacoub Nashwan, محمود حسين طالب | Mahmoud Hussein Taleb



Oxidative stress plays a major role in the process of carcinogenesis. This fact highlights the questions about the effect of antioxidants in cancer therapy. Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) has gained a lot of concern in the last decade as an antioxidant in many pathological conditions, including cancer therapy.                                  


This study was conducted to identify the effect of ALAwhen used with chemotherapy in breast cancer. The study examined its effect on oxidative stress. We examined Malondialdehyde (MDA) as an oxidative stress biomarker, chemotherapeutic Induced Peripheral Neuropathy (CIPN), chemotherapeutic Induced nausea and vomiting (CINV), dyslipidemia, and renal function.


This experimental study was conducted in al-Shefa hospital in Gaza Strip among women who were admitted to the oncology department and diagnosed as breast cancer patients. Fifteen cases were given ALA, 600 mg per day for six months, and 15 control groups in which the MDA, Creatinine and lipid profile were examined at zero time. After 3 months and 6 months, the adverse events were examined by a face-to-face questionnaire to the cases at zero time.


The median of MDA was significantly decreased in the first 3 months from 8.4 nmol/ ml to 5.4 nmol (P-value = 0.013). However, after six months, it was not significantly decreased. The median of MDA was 4.6 nmol/ml (P-value = 1). Creatinine was significantly decreased after six months (P-value = 0.000). In contrast, urea was not changed significantly. Concerning the lipid profile TC, LDL was elevated significantly, and HDL was not significantly improved.  According to adverse events, CIPN, pain was not significantly improved; only 58% (P-value = 0.07) of the cases stopped feeling pain. Imbalance also was not significantly improved; only 33% of cases stopped feeling imbalanced (P-value 0.125), while 80 % of cases stopped feeling numb (P-value = 0.008).  On the other hand, 83% of cases stopped feeling a tingling sensation (P-value = 0.002), and 81% of cases have no trouble in holding things (P-value = 0.004). No patient complained of vomiting after the use of ALA (P-value = 0.00(.

Conclusion:  The use of ALA has a beneficial effect on oxidative stress, which has a major role in the process of carcinogenesis. It has a protective effect on renal functions and a beneficial effect on both CIPN, CINV.


Oxidative Stress, Alpha Lipoic Acid, MDA.

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