Ascorbic Acid in Cancer Treatment: Let the Phoenix Fly

Niraj Shenoy, Edward Creagan, Thomas Witzig, Mark Levine

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

17 Citations (Scopus)

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. 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)700-706
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Cell
Volume34
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 12 2018

Fingerprint

Diptera
Ascorbic Acid
Pharmacokinetics
Neoplasms
Enzyme Activation
Hydrogen Peroxide
Oxidative Stress
DNA

Keywords

  • ascorbic acid
  • cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cell Biology
  • Cancer Research

Cite this

Ascorbic Acid in Cancer Treatment : Let the Phoenix Fly. / Shenoy, Niraj; Creagan, Edward; Witzig, Thomas; Levine, Mark.

In: Cancer Cell, Vol. 34, No. 5, 12.11.2018, p. 700-706.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Shenoy, Niraj ; Creagan, Edward ; Witzig, Thomas ; Levine, Mark. / Ascorbic Acid in Cancer Treatment : Let the Phoenix Fly. In: Cancer Cell. 2018 ; Vol. 34, No. 5. pp. 700-706.
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