Vitamin C Study Could Impact Mesothelioma Treatment, According to Surviving Mesothelioma

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A new study in ovarian cancer patients appears to back up previous research on the value of Vitamin C in the treatment of mesothelioma and other cancers.

On the basis of its potential benefit and minimal toxicity...ascorbate in combination with standard chemotherapy is justified in larger clinical trials.

Surviving Mesothelioma is reporting on new research at the University of Kansas that intravenous Vitamin C produces therapeutic levels of the cancer-fighter in the blood, tissue and interstitial fluid (around cells) and kills ovarian cancer cells.

The researchers found that Vitamin C damaged the DNA of cancer cells, depleted levels of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) needed for energy, and inhibited the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway responsible for cancer cell proliferation and motility.

Just as importantly for people with mesothelioma and other cancers, when researchers gave intravenous Vitamin C along with conventional chemotherapy, it inhibited the growth of cancer cells in mice. Human patients who received the Vitamin C/chemotherapy combination experienced less toxicity from their treatments, a fact that could enable them to tolerate higher doses of cancer-killing drugs and more success.

The findings are similar to those of mesothelioma researchers in Italy and Japan. In 2010, Japanese scientists found that Vitamin C killed cells from four different mesothelioma cell lines in the lab and slowed the growth of mesothelioma tumors in live mice.

In 2013, an Italian team found that a Vitamin C/antioxidant/chemotherapy combination had a synergistic effect on mesothelioma cells in the lab. In mice, it blocked both mesothelioma tumor growth and metastasis (spread). They proposed the combination as a new mesothelioma treatment.

The authors of the newest Vitamin C and cancer study agree. Writing in Science Translational Research, Yan Ma and colleagues conclude, “On the basis of its potential benefit and minimal toxicity, examination of intravenous ascorbate in combination with standard chemotherapy is justified in larger clinical trials.” Although intravenous Vitamin C may eventually be integrated into mesothelioma therapy, there is no evidence that oral supplements are of any therapeutic value.

The original research study appears in a recent issue of Science Translational Medicine. (Ma, Jan, et al, “High-Dose Parenteral Ascorbate Enhanced Chemosensitivity of Ovarian Cancer and Reduced Toxicity of Chemotherapy”, February 5, 2014, Science Translational Medicine, Volume 6, Issue 222,

For nearly ten years, Surviving Mesothelioma has brought readers the most important and ground-breaking news on the causes, diagnosis and treatment of mesothelioma. All Surviving Mesothelioma news is gathered and reported directly from the peer-reviewed medical literature. Written for patients and their loved ones, Surviving Mesothelioma news helps families make more informed decisions.

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Michael Ellis
Cancer Monthy
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