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Anticancer Res. 2013 Feb;33(2):691-5.

Antioxidant effects of potassium ascorbate with ribose in costello syndrome.

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Department of Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Reproductive Medicine, University of Siena, Viale Mario Bracci 36, 53100, Siena, Italy.



Costello syndrome is a rare genetic condition characterized by coarse facies, short stature, loose folds of skin especially on hands and feet, severe feeding difficulties and failure to thrive. Other features include cardiac anomalies, developmental disability and increased risk of neoplasms. Given the link between oxidative stress (OS) and carcinogenesis, we tested the hypothesis that OS occurs in this syndrome, supposing its role both in cancer development and in other clinical features.


We describe four cases with Costello syndrome in which we verified the presence of OS by measuring a redox biomarker profile including total hydroperoxides, non-protein-bound iron, advanced oxidation protein products, thyols, carbonyl groups and isoprostanes. Thus, we introduced an antioxidant agent, namely potassium ascorbate with ribose (PAR) into the therapy and monitored the redox profile every three months to verify its efficacy.


A progressive decrease in OS biomarkers occurred, together with an improvement in the clinical features of the patients.


OS was proven in all four cases of Costello syndrome. The antioxidant therapy with PAR demonstrated positive effects. These promising results need further research to confirm the relevance of OS and the efficacy of PAR therapy in Costello syndrome.

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