Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cancer Tumors Shown To Consume Large Amounts Of Vitamin C

Date:
September 16, 1999
Source:
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Summary:
Researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center have found that cancer tumors consume large amounts of vitamin C. Their findings, which are reported in the September 15 issue of Cancer Research, may shed new light on the nutritional needs of tumors.

Researchers are cautious about cancer patients taking vitamin C supplements

New York, September 15 - Researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center have found that cancer tumors consume large amounts of vitamin C. Their findings, which are reported in the September 15 issue of Cancer Research, may shed new light on the nutritional needs of tumors.

"This study is the first to demonstrate exactly how cancer cells acquire large quantities of vitamin C," said Dr. David Golde, senior author of the study and Physician-in-Chief of Memorial Hospital.

Although the role that vitamin C plays in tumors is not yet known, recent studies have shown that there may be possible interactions between dietary antioxidants and chemotherapy treatment. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that consumes free radicals - or toxic substances in the body that can also be generated from chemotherapy agents to destroy cancer cells.

"It's possible that taking large amounts of vitamin C could interfere with the effects of chemotherapy or even radiation therapy, since these therapies often kill cells in part by using oxidative mechanisms. It's conceivable then, that vitamin C might make cancer treatment less effective and therefore, reasonable that cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy should avoid taking large amounts of this vitamin," said Dr. Golde.

Earlier research by Dr. Golde and his colleagues had established that specific glucose transporter molecules were responsible for transporting vitamin C into cells. This process occurs when vitamin C, which is used by cells in the form of ascorbic acid, is converted into the form of dehydroascorbic acid and transported into the cell. Once inside, the vitamin is converted back to ascorbic acid.

This discovery prompted Dr. Golde's team to explore whether glucose transporter molecules and vitamin C might function in cancer cells, as malignant cells devour more glucose than normal cells to obtain the energy they need to grow. Subsequently, their laboratory studies with myeloid leukemia cells showed that the cells accumulated high levels of vitamin C through their glucose transporters.

Building on this research, the researchers hypothesized that human leukemia, breast and prostate cancer cells would acquire large amounts of vitamin C in the same way. To find out, mice were injected with human cancer cells of the breast, prostate and blood and, after tumors had developed, were injected with ascorbic acid, dehydroascorbic acid, or sucrose (as a measure of blood volume). All tumors were subsequently analyzed for vitamin C content. The researchers found that the tumors readily took up vitamin C by a process involving the conversion of ascorbic acid to dehydroascorbic acid.

"Now we know that tumors acquire and retain large amounts of vitamin C. So, it appears that tumors have nutritional needs, similar to other healthy cells that take in large amounts of the vitamin," said Dr. David Agus, first author of the study and an oncologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. "More studies need to be done to determine what the tumor cells do with the vitamin C once they get it."

###

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center is the world's oldest and largest private institution devoted to prevention, patient care, research, and education in cancer. Throughout its long distinguished history, the Center has played a leadership role in defining the standard of care for patients with cancer. In 1999, Memorial Sloan-Kettering was named the nation's best cancer care center for the seventh consecutive year by U.S. News and World Report.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. "Cancer Tumors Shown To Consume Large Amounts Of Vitamin C." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 September 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/09/990916074820.htm>.
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. (1999, September 16). Cancer Tumors Shown To Consume Large Amounts Of Vitamin C. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/09/990916074820.htm
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. "Cancer Tumors Shown To Consume Large Amounts Of Vitamin C." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/09/990916074820.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Aimed at reducing sexual assaults on college campuses, California has adopted a new law changing the standard of consent for sexual activity. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Researchers looked at 1,500 blood samples and determined people who developed pancreatic cancer had more branched chain amino acids. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins