A new study investigates the impact of experimental drugs and natural substance including vitamin C in stopping the cancer cell growth. The researchers discovered that Vitamin C could kill cancer cells and even 10 times more effective than experimental drugs.
The study was printed in the journal Oncotarget. It was led by Dr. Gloria Bonuccelli from the University of Salford in Manchester, United Kingdom, and other colleagues, according to Medical News Today.
In the study, the researchers examined the impact of clinical drug stiripentol, three natural substances such as ascorbic acid (vitamin C), caffeic acid phenyl ester (CAPE) and silibinin. They also evaluated the three experimental drugs such as FK866, actinonin and 2-DG. They targeted the bioenergetic processes of CSCs that allow the cells to live and grow. The team’s goal is to unsettle the metabolism of CSCs and prevent their growth.
The results showed that actinonin and FK866 were the most effective. Vitamin C was also found effective to prevent the formation of CSCs and 10 times more effective than the experimental drug 2-DG. Vitamin C also prevents the glycolysis, in which the glucose is broken down within the cell’s mitochondria and converted into energy for the propagation of cells.
Dr. Michael P. Lisanti, professor of translational medicine at the University of Salford, said that they have been researching on how to target cancer stem cells with different natural substances. These include silibinin (milk thistle) and CAPE, a honey-bee derivative and vitamin C, which Lisanti described as having the most exciting results. “Vitamin C is cheap, natural, nontoxic and readily available so to have it as a potential weapon in the fight against cancer would be a significant step.”
Another study that was published in the journal Redox Biology in December 2016 indicated that high-dose vitamin C (ascorbate) could also kill cancer cells. The researchers from the University of Iowa Health Care discovered that vitamin C separates and produce hydrogen peroxide that damages the tissue and DNA. In the study, the tumor cells cannot remove the hydrogen peroxide than normal cells, and they are more vulnerable to damage and death when they are subject to the high dose of vitamin C, according to Science Daily.