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Nat Rev Cancer. 2019 May;19(5):271-282. doi: 10.1038/s41568-019-0135-7.

Targeting cancer vulnerabilities with high-dose vitamin C.

Author information

1
Meyer Cancer Center, Department of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, NY, USA.
2
Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA.
3
Meyer Cancer Center, Department of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, NY, USA. LCantley@med.cornell.edu.
4
Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA. Jihye.Yun@bcm.edu.

Abstract

Over the past century, the notion that vitamin C can be used to treat cancer has generated much controversy. However, new knowledge regarding the pharmacokinetic properties of vitamin C and recent high-profile preclinical studies have revived interest in the utilization of high-dose vitamin C for cancer treatment. Studies have shown that pharmacological vitamin C targets many of the mechanisms that cancer cells utilize for their survival and growth. In this Opinion article, we discuss how vitamin C can target three vulnerabilities many cancer cells share: redox imbalance, epigenetic reprogramming and oxygen-sensing regulation. Although the mechanisms and predictive biomarkers that we discuss need to be validated in well-controlled clinical trials, these new discoveries regarding the anticancer properties of vitamin C are promising to help identify patient populations that may benefit the most from high-dose vitamin C therapy, developing effective combination strategies and improving the overall design of future vitamin C clinical trials for various types of cancer.

PMID:
30967651
PMCID:
PMC6526932
[Available on 2020-05-01]
DOI:
10.1038/s41568-019-0135-7
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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