Melatonin helps chemotherapy work, increases survival and reduces side-effects

Melatonin helps chemotherapy work, increases survival and reduces side-effects

Chemotherapy and radiotherapy effectiveness is improved significantly by melatonin supplementation with decreased side-effects; and this is recorded in two meta-analyses, and by the work of expert Professor Russel Reiter and in a review by Sloan Kettering - there is also increasing evidence for the survival benefits of high-dose melatonin.

In a meta-analysis of randomized controlled clinical studies published in 2012, (Wang Y et al, Cancer chemotherapy and pharmacology), oral melatonin supplementation of 20 mg daily almost doubled complete and partial remission figures and one year survival rates, when used with chemotherapy; and it ‘dramatically’ decreased side-effects when used with radiotherapy. 

This data was reflected across different cancer types, all represented as solid tumours, and there were no adverse reactions to the melatonin recorded.

This followed a 2005 meta-analysis and a specific randomised, placebo-controlled study on breast cancer (1) that melatonin activates anti-neoplastic immune reactivity, has direct anti-cancer action and PROTECTS against chemotherapy damage.  

In a Memorial Sloan Kettering review on melatonin plus chemotherapy research, they state that there is a :-

     • 40% greater one year survival
     • 93% greater chance of having a complete response (no tumour identified)
     • 253% greater chance of having a partial response
     • 15% chance of having stable disease after the combined therapy
     • Significantly reduced weakness, fatigue, sickness and lowering of white cell count.

New clinical trials are now progressing.

Professor Russel Reiter of UT Health San Antonio is an expert on melatonin, and speaks regularly on melatonin, how everybody with cancer should take melatonin, especially those having chemotherapy - for a You Tube video click HERE

While it is produced by the pineal gland AND your gut bacteria while you sleep, it is not 100% certain that it is a sleeping aid! It is a huge antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory. It peaks in the body during the peak of darkness, and is suppressed by blue light (computers, mobile phones etc.).

It should be noted that in the UK, melatonin has to be prescribed by your Doctor who will only know it as a sleeping aid and can prescribe no more than 3 mg.

There is now a move toward High Dose Melatonin - In a 2018 study by Lissoni et al (2) of 212 terminally ill cancer patients with common cancer types, high dose melatonin at night across 5 years brought the cancer of 111/212 patients (52%) under control, with a 5-year survival increase by 11% and 1 year by 46%. In a 2013 study (3), using 10-40 mg of melatonin at night increased 1 year survival by 34%. 

Chris Woollams, former Oxford University Biochemist and a founder of CANCERactive added, "We repeatedly hear that you must not take anti-oxidants if you are having chemotherapy. This is totally misleading (4). Melatonin is the largest antioxidant we make ourselves in our bodies. It is also very, very anti-inflammatory. Add those two together and you understand why sleep is so healing. It regulates estrogen and growth hormone in our bodies. It has about 5 different actions against cancer. If you send a shot to your gut bacteria, they will know it is night time and they will go to sleep too - they have circadian rhythms. They will make about 400 times the melatonin you make. So don’t eat late at night. Help them get to sleep! Given all this, why would anyone with cancer NOT take melatonin? And how wrong are UK health authorities and charities like Cancer Research to ignore it?".

GO to: Melatonin - self-defence against cancer; a Review


"Go here to buy: Practitioner strength probiotic designed specifically by Chris to help heal your gut’ 





1. Mills, E., P. Wu, et al. J Pineal Res. 2005 November

2. 5 year study with high-dose melatonin 

3. Rondanelli et al, Update on cancer management using melatonin, 2013

4. Curcumin/turmeric can improve drug effectiveness

5. High Dose vitamin C improves Chemotherapy effectiveness

2016 Research
CancerAcitve Logo
Subscribe (Free e-Newsletter)

Join Chris'

Market Place
Join Chris' NewsletterSignup today for free and be the first to get notified on new updates.