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L-ascorbic acid and Antibiotics: A New Combo to Kill Cancer Stem Cells

Author: Lillian Tong
by Lillian Tong
Posted: Oct 09, 2022

Researchers from the University of Salford, UK, published a new experimental strategy that can kill cancer stem cells that accelerate the growth of deadly tumors through the dual combination of antibiotics and L-ascorbic acid.

According to the research published in the journal Oncotarget, under laboratory conditions, the antibiotic Doxycycline and the dose of ascorbic acid (L-ascorbic acid) have amazing effects on killing cancer stem cells.

In boxing terms, this is equivalent to two consecutive punches; Left jab, right cross.

The researchers say their approach provides new explanations for how to prevent cancer cells from developing drug resistance and how to develop combination therapies to overcome drug resistance.

Professor Michael Lisanti, who designed the study, explained: "We now know that some cancer cells have escaped chemotherapy and developed drug resistance; we have developed this new strategy to find out how they did it.

"We suspect that the answer is that some cancer cells - what we call metabolic flexible cells - can change their fuel sources. Therefore, when drug treatment reduces the availability of certain nutrients, flexible cancer cells can feed themselves with alternative energy sources."

This new combination prevents cancer cells from changing their diet (metabolic inflexibility) and effectively starves them by preventing them from using any other type of biofuel available.

The research team of the Biomedical Research Center of the University of Salford continuously increased the dose of doxycycline for three months to induce metabolic inflexibility. The result is that the cancer cells survive, but they are severely attenuated and depleted. Therefore, through the second metabolic "shock", the cancer cells are more likely to starve to death.

First, the researchers inhibited the mitochondria of tumor cells by restricting the cancer cells to use glucose as the fuel source only; Then they take away their glucose, effectively starving cancer cells.

In this case, L-ascorbic acid, as an inhibitor of glycolysis, provides fuel for the energy production of mitochondria, the "power source" of cells, explained co-author Dr. Federica Sotgia.

The research team of Salford University recently found that L-ascorbic acid is 10 times more effective than 2-DG and other drugs in preventing the growth of cancer cells. But they said that when L-ascorbic acid is combined with antibiotics, its effect is 10 times more effective than 2-DG and nearly 100 times more effective than 2-DG.

Because doxycycline and L-ascorbic acid are relatively non-toxic, this can greatly reduce the side effects of anti-cancer treatment.

The Salford research team also identified eight other drugs, including berberine (a natural product) and many low-cost non-toxic drugs approved by FDA, which can be used as the "second strike" after antibiotic therapy.

Professor Lisanti added: "This further proves that L-ascorbic acid and other non-toxic compounds may play a role in the fight against cancer."

"Our research results show that it is a promising clinical trial drug, which can be used as a supplement to more traditional therapies to prevent tumor recurrence, disease further progress and metastasis."

About the Author

ECHEMI is a chemical supply chain service company headquartered in Hong Kong, providing chemical raw materials supply, research and analysis, marketing, distribution, logistics, E-commerce and after-sales services.

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Author: Lillian Tong

Lillian Tong

Member since: Jun 26, 2022
Published articles: 25

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