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Exp Ther Med. 2016 Nov;12(5):3058-3062. Epub 2016 Sep 16.

In vitro and in vivo assessment of high-dose vitamin C against murine tumors.

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State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy and Cancer Center, West China Hospital, Sichuan University and Collaborative Innovation Center of Biotherapy, Chengdu, Sichuan 610041, P.R. China.


Vitamin C is widely used in clinical settings and is well known for its safety. Previous studies have shown the efficacy of intravenous vitamin C; however, intratumoral delivery of vitamin C has yet to be attempted. In the present study, the biological effects of high-dose vitamin C on tumor cells were investigated in vitro by using the MTT assay and flow cytometry. When administered in vitro, high-dose vitamin C inhibited the proliferation of murine colon and breast cancer cells, and induced tumor cell apoptosis. Cytotoxicity of vitamin C was partially reversed by N-acetyl-cysteine at a relatively low dosage. In addition, synergistic anti-tumor effects of vitamin C and cisplatin were observed. In vivo, intratumoral delivery of vitamin C delayed tumor growth in murine solid tumor models. Considering its low toxicity and availability, the present study indicates that vitamin C may be a novel therapeutic method for patients with advanced tumors.


N-acetyl-cysteine; apoptosis; chemotherapy; proliferation; tumor; vitamin C

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