Exploring vitamin and mineral supplementation and purported clinical effects in patients with small cell lung cancer: Results from the mayo clinic lung cancer cohort

Aminah Jatoi, Brent A. Williams, Randolph Stuart Marks, Francis C. Nichols, Marie Christine Aubry, Jason Wampfler, Ping Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations


Previous laboratory and pilot clinical trial data suggest that vitamin and/or mineral supplementation may prevent tumor growth in small cell lung cancer. However, rates of supplementation and their major purported clinical effects have never before been studied in patients with small cell lung cancer. This study was undertaken to explore associations between vitamin/mineral supplementation and survival and quality of life within a cohort of small cell lung cancer patients. This study focused on a small cell lung cancer patient cohort from a tertiary care medical center. Small cell lung cancer patients who responded to a follow-up questionnaire on vitamin/mineral use were included. Associations between vitamin/mineral use and both survival and quality of life (Lung Cancer Symptom Scale) were assessed. A total of 178 patients or their proxies responded to one or more vitamin/mineral questionnaires. One hundred seven (60%) were vitamin/mineral users of either multivitamins or other more specific vitamin/mineral supplements, and the rest were non-users. Two different survival analyses were performed. In the first, median survival was 1.8 vs. 1.3 yr for vitamin/mineral users and nonusers, respectively. The relative risk of death was 0.63 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.43, 0.92; P = 0.02) in favor of vitamin/mineral use. After adjustment for multiple prognostic factors, including tumor stage, the relative risk for death was 0.65 (95% CI: 0.43, 1.00; P = 0.05). The second analysis was based on an alternative definition of vitamin/mineral use and showed only a trend to suggest an association between vitamin/mineral use and improved survival (P = 0.09). There were no significant improvements in quality of life in any of the analyses. Vitamin/mineral supplementation is common within this cohort of small cell lung cancer patients. These data suggest an association between vitamin/mineral supplementation and improved survival and point to a need for future studies on vitamin and mineral supplementation in small cell lung cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-12
Number of pages6
JournalNutrition and Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2005


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Oncology
  • Food Science

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