Research: OSMAK and colleagues, Dep

Listed in Issue 25


OSMAK and colleagues, Department of Molecular Medicine, Ruder Boskovic Institute, Zagreb, Croatia write that the role of vitamin C (ascorbic acid AA) in the prevention and suppression of carcinogenesis has been known for a long time. AA may also inhibit the growth of some tumour cells in vitro and in vivo.



AA and 6-chloro-6-deoxy ascorbic acid (6-Cl-AA) were examined for their influence upon the growth of various human cells lines: lung fibroblasts (Hef), ovarian adenocarcinoma (OVCAR), colon adenocarcinoma (HT-29), laryngeal carcinoma (HEp2) cells, HE02 cells resistant to vincristine (HEp2VA3), cervical carcinoma (HeLa) cells, HeLa cells resistant to cisplatin (Helacis), breast adenocarcinoma (SK-BR-3) cells and SK-BR-3 resistant to doxorubicin (SK-BR-3-Dox), as well as mouse fibroblasts L929, mouse melanoma B16 (Mel B16) cells and Chinese hamster fibroblasts (V79).


Both AA and 6-Cl-AA arrested the growth of: HeLa, SK-BR-3, SK-BR-3-Dox, L929, and Mel B16 cells . 6-Cl-AA suppressed more than AA the proliferation of HeLacis, AK-BR-3-Dox and Mel B16 cells, whereas AA was active only against HT-29 cells. The inhibitory effect of 6-Cl-AA was confirmed by in vivo experiments on solid melanoma B16 tumours.


Both vitamin C (AA) and 6-Cl-AA could serve as potential antitumour agents, especially against certain tumour cells resistant to chemotherapy.


Osmak M et al. Ascorbic acid and 6-deoxy-6-chloro-ascorbic acid: potential anticancer drugs. Neoplasma 44(2): 101-7. 1997.


It is heartening that such research is being carried on regarding the role of vitamin C in the treatment of cancer, although it is now almost twenty years since Linus Pauling and Ewan Cameron first reported on their therapeutic Vitamin C anticancer regime in Scotland (Ewan Cameron and Linus Pauling. Cancer and Vitamin C. The Linus Pauling Institute of Science and Medicine. 1979).

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