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Study shows antioxidant use may actually promote the spread of cancer

RATE THIS! +31
Posted in Science on 19th Oct, 2015 01:17 AM by AlexMuller

A team of scientists at the Children’s Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI) has made a discovery that suggests cancer cells benefit more from antioxidants than normal cells, raising concerns about the use of dietary antioxidants by patients with cancer.

 
Metastasis, the process by which cancer cells disseminate from their primary site to other parts of the body, leads to the death of most cancer patients. The CRI team found that when antioxidants were administered to the mice, cancer spread more quickly than in mice that did not get antioxidants.
 
It has long been known that the spread of cancer cells from one part of the body to another is an inefficient process in which the vast majority of cancer cells that enter the blood fail to survive.
 
“We discovered that metastasizing melanoma cells experience very high levels of oxidative stress, which leads to the death of most metastasizing cells,” said Dr. Sean Morrison, CRI Director and Mary McDermott Cook Chair in Pediatric Genetics at UT Southwestern Medical Center. “Administration of antioxidants to the mice allowed more of the metastasizing melanoma cells to survive, increasing metastatic disease burden.”
 
“The idea that antioxidants are good for you has been so strong that there have been clinical trials done in which cancer patients were administered antioxidants,” added Dr. Morrison, who is also a CPRIT Scholar in Cancer Research and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. “Some of those trials had to be stopped because the patients getting the antioxidants were dying faster. Our data suggest the reason for this: cancer cells benefit more from antioxidants than normal cells do.”
 
Healthy people who do not have cancer may very well benefit from antioxidants that can help reduce damage from highly reactive oxidative molecules generated by normal metabolism. While the study’s results have not yet been tested in people, they raise the possibility that cancer should be treated with pro-oxidants and that cancer patients should not supplement their diet with large doses of antioxidants.

Tags: canceroncologybloodchemistrybiologymetastasisdietmedicine

Read original article » Back to category

Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2015-10-19
+1
It is clear that antioxidants are not beneficial to cancer patents. The questions remain about their usefulness to relatively healthy populations
1 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2015-10-19
+0
Well supported answer is also needed about harmful effects of antioxidants to cancer patients Reply
Reply


 

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