1Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.
2Columbia University, New York, NY, USA firstname.lastname@example.org.
Background: More than 50% of US adults, and an even larger proportion of cancer patients, use dietary supplements. Since many supplements require hepatic metabolism, they may be particularly likely to cause toxicities in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, little is known about supplement use in patients with HCC.
Methods: From 2008 to 2012, we gave newly diagnosed HCC patients at our institution a standardized questionnaire about dietary supplement use, demographic factors, and clinical characteristics. We then followed patients for four years or until time to death to examine the relationship with supplement use.
Results: Of 146 patients, 71% had used vitamins and 45% herbal supplements. Most commonly used supplements were antioxidants (51%), multivitamins (46%), vitamin D (25%), and milk thistle (23%). People in mid-higher income brackets were more likely to use herbal supplements (19% of those earning <$30 000, 50% of those earning $30 000-60 000, and 34% of those earning >$60 000 used supplements). Hepatitis C (HCV) patients were more likely to use milk thistle than those without HCV (30% vs 13%, P = .03), and patients with hepatitis B (HBV) were more likely than non-HBV patients to use vitamin C (32% vs 14%, P = .01). Supplement use was not associated with overall survival.
Conclusions: Like cancer patients in other studies, the majority of our HCC patients used dietary supplements. Supplement use was not associated with overall survival but should be studied in larger patient samples.