Pharmacologic doses of ascorbate act as a prooxidant and decrease growth of aggressive tumor xenografts in mice.
ABSTRACT Ascorbic acid is an essential nutrient commonly regarded as an antioxidant. In this study, we showed that ascorbate at pharmacologic concentrations was a prooxidant, generating hydrogen-peroxide-dependent cytotoxicity toward a variety of cancer cells in vitro without adversely affecting normal cells. To test this action in vivo, normal oral tight control was bypassed by parenteral ascorbate administration. Real-time microdialysis sampling in mice bearing glioblastoma xenografts showed that a single pharmacologic dose of ascorbate produced sustained ascorbate radical and hydrogen peroxide formation selectively within interstitial fluids of tumors but not in blood. Moreover, a regimen of daily pharmacologic ascorbate treatment significantly decreased growth rates of ovarian (P < 0.005), pancreatic (P < 0.05), and glioblastoma (P < 0.001) tumors established in mice. Similar pharmacologic concentrations were readily achieved in humans given ascorbate intravenously. These data suggest that ascorbate as a prodrug may have benefits in cancers with poor prognosis and limited therapeutic options.
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ABSTRACT: In recent years the use of natural dietary antioxidants to minimize the cytotoxicity and the damage induced in normal tissues by antitumor agents is gaining consideration. In literature, it is reported that vitamin C exhibits some degree of antineoplastic activity whereas Mitoxantrone (MTZ) is a synthetic anti-cancer drug with significant clinical effectiveness in the treatment of human malignancies but with severe side effects. Therefore, we have investigated the effect of vitamin C alone or combined with MTZ on MDA-MB231 and MCF7 human breast cancer cell lines to analyze their dose-effect on the tumor cellular growth, cellular death, cell cycle and cell signaling. Our results have evidenced that there is a dose-dependence on the inhibition of the breast carcinoma cell lines, MCF7 and MDA-MB231, treated with vitamin C and MTZ. Moreover, their combination induces: i) a cytotoxic effect by apoptotic death, ii) a mild G2/M elongation and iii) H2AX and mild PI3K activation. Hence, the formulation of vitamin C with MTZ induces a higher cytotoxicity level on tumor cells compared to a disjointed treatment. We have also found that the vitamin C enhances the MTZ effect allowing the utilization of lower chemotherapic concentrations in comparison to the single treatments.PLoS ONE 12/2014; 9(12):e115287. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0115287 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Pharmacological ascorbate is currently used as an anti-cancer treatment, potentially in combination with radiation therapy, by integrative medicine practitioners. In the acidic, metal-rich tumor environment, ascorbate acts as a pro-oxidant, with a mode of action similar to that of ionizing radiation; both treatments kill cells predominantly by free radical-mediated DNA damage. The brain tumor, glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), is very resistant to radiation; radiosensitizing GBM cells will improve survival of GBM patients. Here, we demonstrate that a single fraction (6 Gy) of radiation combined with a 1 h exposure to ascorbate (5 mM) sensitized murine glioma GL261 cells to radiation in survival and colony-forming assays in vitro. In addition, we report the effect of a single fraction (4.5 Gy) of whole brain radiation combined with daily intraperitoneal injections of ascorbate (1 mg/kg) in an intracranial GL261 glioma mouse model. Tumor-bearing C57BL/6 mice were divided into four groups: one group received a single dose of 4.5 Gy to the brain 8 days after tumor implantation, a second group received daily intraperitoneal injections of ascorbate (day 8–45) after implantation, a third group received both treatments and a fourth control group received no treatment. While radiation delayed tumor progression, intraperitoneal ascorbate alone had no effect on tumor progression. Tumor progression was faster in tumor-bearing mice treated with radiation and daily ascorbate than in those treated with radiation alone. Histological analysis showed less necrosis in tumors treated with both radiation and ascorbate, consistent with a radio-protective effect of ascorbate in vivo. Dis-crepancies between our in vitro and in vivo results may be explained by differences in the tumor microenvironment, which determines whether ascorbate remains outside the cell, acting as a pro-oxidant, or whether it enters the cells and acts as an anti-oxidant.Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 12/2014; 4:1-8. DOI:10.3389/fonc.2014.00356 · 6.11 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Ascorbate is a specific co-factor for a large family of enzymes known as the Fe- and 2-oxoglutarate-dependent dioxygenases. These enzymes are found throughout biology and catalyze the addition of a hydroxyl group to various substrates. The proline hydroxylase that is involved in collagen maturation is well known, but in recent times many new enzymes and functions have been uncovered, including those involved in epigenetic control and hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) regulation. These discoveries have provided crucial mechanistic insights into how ascorbate may affect tumor biology. In particular, there is growing evidence that HIF-1-dependent tumor progression may be inhibited by increasing tumor ascorbate levels. However, rigorous clinical intervention studies are lacking. This review will explore the physiological role of ascorbate as an enzyme co-factor and how this mechanism relates to cancer biology and treatment. The use of ascorbate in cancer should be informed by clinical studies based on such mechanistic hypotheses.Frontiers in Oncology 12/2014; 4:359. DOI:10.3389/fonc.2014.00359