Researchers from the New York University Langone Health’s Perlmutter Cancer Center have been studying the role of vitamin C in the death of potential cancer causing cells. According to the researchers, vitamin C may be signaling defective bone marrow cells to die in a natural way. Conversely, these faulty cells could multiply and cause blood cancers.
Vitamin C as a Combinational Treatment
According previous studies, the human body’s TET2 enzyme motivates the body’s stem cells to mature into blood cells and die naturally. One of the causes of leukemia includes genetic changes in the body that inhibit the formation of TET2, thereby allowing an uncontrolled growth of stem cells instead of dying off. The recent study showed how vitamin C could be just the thing that could activate TET2 in mice models. The mice were genetically engineered to have a low TET2 enzyme. PhD and MD Benjamin G. Neel, corresponding author for the study stated that it was an exciting endeavor to realize the utility of vitamin C in blood cancer treatment. It could potentially be used in high doses as a combinational treatment for leukemia, with targeted treatments.
Maintaining the Natural Cellular Death Process
The study focuses on the correlation between cytosine and TET2. The former is one of the core letters in nucleic acids that are the foundation stones of the DNA code. Essentially, all cells hold the same type of genetic information in the form of these acids, but differ in volume and therefore, instruction that impart cellular context. The research also showed the possible effects of inhibiting TET2 on the abnormal functions in stem cells in genetically engineered mice. This process used mice in which the TET2 gene could be voluntarily toggled. The study conclusively showed the reversal of TET2 inhibition through high doses of vitamin C.