Cancer patients with terminal disease who take a daily cocktail of vitamins could extend their lives by two years or even longer, claim researchers.
Three out of four in a pilot study survived an average of five months longer than the expected one year, and some were still alive three years after treatment started. Dr Bob Lister, co-author of the study by British and Danish researchers, said the results were similar to the survival gains from new drugs and in some cases better.
But the important difference was there were no side effects reported by patients taking vitamins, he said.
Dr Lister, chairman of the Institute of Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition at London Metropolitan University, said: 'We believe these results are meaningful and justify trying to get backing for a proper clinical trial.
'People with cancer are constantly asking what can we do, not necessarily to beat the cancer but to have a better quality of life whatever the length of survival. Most importantly, taking these supplements is extremely safe, and there were no adverse reactions among the patients.'
The study followed patients suffering from breast, lung, brain, colon and other forms of cancer in Denmark between 1990 and 1999 who continued taking conventional cancer medication.