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 22, 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 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Newsy (July 19, 2014) Research on plaque from ancient teeth shows that our prehistoric ancestor's had a detailed understanding of plants long before developing agriculture. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

AFP (July 18, 2014) Contaminated water in South Africa's northwestern town of Bloemhof kills three babies and hospitalises over 500 people. The incident highlights growing fears over water safety in South Africa. Duration: 02:22 Video provided by AFP
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