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Cancer Cell. 2018 Nov 12;34(5):700-706. doi: 10.1016/j.ccell.2018.07.014. Epub 2018 Aug 30.

Ascorbic Acid in Cancer Treatment: Let the Phoenix Fly.

Author information

1
Division of Hematology & Medical Oncology, Department of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA; Department of Medicine (Oncology), Albert Einstein College of Medicine- Montefiore Medical Center, 1300 Morris Park Avenue, Bronx, NY 10467, USA. Electronic address: shenoy.niraj@mayo.edu.
2
Division of Hematology & Medical Oncology, Department of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.
3
Molecular and Clinical Nutrition Section, Intramural Research Program, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, 10 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892-1372, USA. Electronic address: markl@nih.gov.

Abstract

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid, ascorbate), despite controversy, has re-emerged as a promising anti-cancer agent. Recent knowledge of intravenous ascorbate pharmacokinetics and discovery of unexpected mechanisms of ascorbate action have spawned many investigations. Two mechanisms of anti-cancer activity with ascorbate have gained prominence: hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidative stress and DNA demethylation mediated by ten-eleven translocation enzyme activation. Here, we highlight salient aspects of the evolution of ascorbate in cancer treatment, provide insights into the pharmacokinetics of ascorbate, describe mechanisms of its anti-cancer activity in relation to the pharmacokinetics, outline promising preclinical and clinical evidence, and recommend future directions.

KEYWORDS:

ascorbic acid; cancer

PMID:
30174242
PMCID:
PMC6234047
[Available on 2019-11-12]
DOI:
10.1016/j.ccell.2018.07.014

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