A study published in the journal Oncotarget shows how a combination of Vitamin C and the antibiotic Doxycycline can kill cancer stem cells. This could lead to a more effective cancer treatment in the future.
Cancer stem cells are the cells that allow tumors to grow and spread. These cells can get a new fuel source, so they can resistant to chemotherapy and other cancer treatment. A combination therapy of Vitamin C and Doxycycline can prevent this resistance.
A University of Salford team published this study in Oncotarget under the leadership of Professor Michael Lisanti. Lisanti stated that his team hypothesized that cancer cells are resistant because they can switch their fuel source from glucose to something else.
The strategy works as follows. First, Vitamin C inhibits glucose energy production, leaving the cancer cells without a way to produce energy. Glucose is the main source of energy for a sell. Once glucose is taken away from the cell, the cell then starves and dies. Then, a dose of the antibiotic keeps the cells from being able to switch to a new fuel source.
According to the researchers, this strategy is up to 100 times more effective than current cancer drug 2-DG. Not only that, but since both Vitamin C and Doxycycline are relatively non-toxic, the potential for side effects is greatly decreased. Download output styles at Endnote.com
The Oncotarget research team hopes that they can develop an effective cancer treatment based on the results of this study. They also identified other drugs that could replace Doxycycline in this combination therapy.