No Effect of Vitamin C Administration on Neutrophil Recovery in Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation for Myeloma or Lymphoma: A Blinded, Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial

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Vitamin C is an important micronutrient for various immune cells. It increases phagocytic cell function and is necessary for T and natural killer (NK) cell development. Patients in need of an autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) are often vitamin C-depleted. We therefore hypothesized that vitamin C supplementation could improve immune recovery in autologous HSCT patients. This blinded, placebo-controlled trial included 44 patients randomized to receive vitamin C or a placebo. The following outcome measures used were clinical and immunological parameters, among others: time to neutrophil recovery, serum, and intracellular vitamin C values. Twenty-one patients received vitamin C, and 23 received a placebo. The time to neutrophil recovery did not differ between the two groups at 11.2 days ( p = 0.96). There were no differences in hospitalization time (19.7 vs. 19.1 days, p = 0.80), the incidence of neutropenic fever (57% vs. 78%, p = 0.20), or 3-month overall survival (90.5% vs. 100%, p = 0.13). Bacteremia seemed to occur less in the vitamin C group (10% vs. 35%, p = 0.07). Our study shows no benefit from vitamin C supplementation on neutrophil recovery and hospitalization, despite possible lower rates of bacteremia in the vitamin C group. Therefore, we do not advise vitamin C supplementation in this treatment group.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4784
Number of pages15
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 11 Nov 2022

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