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Advances in Hematology
Volume 2009, Article ID 689639, 5 pages
Clinical Study

Vitamin E and N-Acetylcysteine as Antioxidant Adjuvant Therapy in Children with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

1Hematology/Oncology Unit, Mansoura University Children's Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University, 35516 Mansoura, Egypt
2Forensic Medicine and Clinical Toxicology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University, 35516 Mansoura, Egypt
3Clinical Pathology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University, 35516 Mansoura, Egypt

Received 3 December 2008; Revised 27 June 2009; Accepted 15 September 2009

Academic Editor: Sagar Lonial

Copyright © 2009 Youssef Al-Tonbary et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Although cancer therapies have experienced great success nowadays, yet the associated toxic response and free radicals formation have resulted in significant number of treatment-induced deaths rather than disease-induced fatalities. Complications of chemotherapy have forced physicians to study antioxidant use as adjunctive treatment in cancer. This study aimed to evaluate the antioxidant role of vitamin E and N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) in overcoming treatment-induced toxicity in acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) during the intensive period of chemo-/radiotherapy, almost the first two months of treatment. Forty children newly diagnosed with ALL were enrolled in this study. Twenty children (group I) have taken vitamin E and NAC supplementations with chemotherapy and the other twenty children (group II) have not taken any adjuvant antioxidant therapy. They were evaluated clinically for the occurrence of complications and by the laboratory parameters (blood levels of glutathione peroxidase (Glu.PX) antioxidant enzyme, malondialdehyde (MDA), tumor necrosis factor- 𝛼 (TNF- 𝛼 ), liver enzymes, and bone marrow picture). Results revealed reduced chemotherapy and radiotherapy toxicity as evidenced by decreasing level of MDA, increasing level of Glu.Px and decreased occurrence of toxic hepatitis, haematological complications, and need for blood and platelet transfusions in group I compared to group II. We can conclude that vitamin E and NAC have been shown to be effective as antioxidant adjuvant therapy in children with ALL to reduce chemo-/radiotherapy-related toxicities during the initial period of treatment.