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 July 31, 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 July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Center for Science in the Public Interest released its 2014 list of single meals with whopping calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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