Vitamin C and neoplastic diseases

Journal Article

Ascorbic acid, the infamous antioxidant and cofactor of many enzymes, is present in the cell in millimolar, while in plasma and extracellular fluid in micromolar concentrations, as monovalent ascorbate anion. The highest levels of ascorbate are found in the brain, adrenal glands, white blood cells and skeletal muscles. Ascorbate is transported into the cell via two sodium-dependent transporters - SVCT1 and SVCT2 or as dehydroascorbic acid via glucose transporters of the GLUT family. Almost 40 years have passed since the first cancer clinical trials with vitamin C, which showed that patients with ascorbate treatment benefited with enhanced quality and prolongation of life. Further studies led to controversy since they have not corroborated these findings and medical community concluded that vitamin C has no place in the cancer therapy. Finally, evidences from the human physiology, which showed that only intravenously, and not orally, administered ascorbate could be used as anticancer drug, gave new prospective for the role of vitamin C in the cancer treatment.

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Rajić, Z; Perković, I; Batinić-Haberle, I

Published Date

  • 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 67 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 303 - 310

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0014-8202