Dr. Weeks’ Comment: again we need to THINK about the study and not just take the conclusion for granted and we need to reflect in an unbiased manner about our current therapies.
Antioxidants help cancer cells?
Antioxidants, often credited with an ability to protect cells from the damage that makes them turn cancerous, may actually help cancerous cells survive, says a study published online in Nature today (August 19).
“The study was certainly intriguing, but how generally applicable the results are remains to be seen,” Harold Seifried of the Division of Cancer Prevention at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md., who was not involved in the study, told The Scientist.
Healthy mammary epithelial cells undergo programmed cell death when they stray from their normal cellular environment. Tumor cells, however, receive survival signals from oncogenes, which keep the cells alive when they migrate to different parts of the body. Joan Brugge at Harvard University and her colleagues hypothesized that oncogenes support tumor cells by blocking apoptosis, but when they prevented apoptosis in cell culture, cells still died when they were transplanted outside a supportive extracellular matrix.
In addition to apoptosis, the researchers found what was killing those cells was an inability to produce glucose. When they expressed a breast cancer oncogene in detached tumor cells, glucose metabolism in the cells was restored, fueling the production of ATP. Surprisingly, though, adding two types of antioxidants also prevented the tumor cells from dying by restoring ATP production — not by increasing glucose, but via another metabolic pathway called fatty acid oxidation. “We got as good if not better rescue of the ATP with antioxidants,” Brugge said.
The scientists found the same results in a cell culture system that more closely resembled living tissue: Blocking apoptosis was not enough to allow tumor cells to survive, but neutralizing oxidative stress with antioxidants kept them alive. “The antioxidants we used were able to restore normal cellular energy levels to cancerous cells,” said Zachary Schafer at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, the study’s first author.
Balz Frei, director of the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, cautioned that the results were a long way from showing that antioxidants actually increase the survival of pre-cancerous and cancerous cells in living organisms.
“It’s important to be careful about how we interpret the results of the study,” said Frei, who did not participate in the research. Frei questioned why the authors chose to use one of the antioxidants, Trolox (a water-soluble vitamin E derivative), instead of a more powerful one such as vitamin C.
Not all antioxidants, treatments, or tumor cells are the same, added Seifried. In future research, for example, “it would be good to use different cell types to test [the findings] on a more general level,” he said.
Brugge said her group plans to repeat the experiment using different antioxidants and in living tissue. She agreed, though, that “it is too early to extrapolate because we have no in vivo data yet.”
Comment here following from my good friend, Garry Gordon, M.D.
ANTIOXIDANTS PROTECT CANCER CELLS? This bombshell research paper in Nature suggests we are harming cancer patients with our use of antioxidants.
I am confident in my rationale here and know that although the fight about using antioxidants in cancer will heat up, we are still on the winning side. I am always hopeful we can refine our approaches to optimize both our oxidative therapies (intermittent) and antioxidant therapies (constant) regularly over a lifetime. Optimized, as I now see happening with the ultimate form of vitamin C with methylation support that is definitely prolonging the lives of cancer patients, but enhanced now by continuously neutralizing heavy metals with ZeoGold and oral chelation (Beyond Chelation-Improved).
Today’s research paper will be used by our critics to scare patients into stopping their supplements. It could also lead many of us to learn more about how to employ oxidative treatments like high dose vitamin C IV in treating cancer patients.
Think about the conference in Wichita in October (see bright Spot) where 2 full days of sharing Vitamin C IV treatment will help all of us improve our techniques.
This research paper might cause us to consider avoiding the use of powerful antioxidants for a few hours (i.e. during the time frame hours before or after) when we treat patients with oxidative therapies. It can also be argued that on balance nothing we do is all positive or negative, as what is good for one cell could be bad for another cell so we define the parameters more carefully. If there are 50 billion cancer cells and 50 trillion cells in our body, we need to think how to get the best outcome in the fight.
In other words, I believe that the BODY has to be the ULTIMATE weapon in fighting for our survival. If giving the body antioxidant support all the time increases its immune system capability, say for infection fighting, but gives some cancer cells a little boost, do we get better outcomes by optimizing the entire body’s efficiency even if some of the nutrients used make some cancer cells a bit tougher?
I think that, for example, we need to burn trash that accumulates around our house, but we use fireplaces to contain the oxidative clean up process. So if burning cancer cells or infections, and there are always pathogens in every patient that we need to help the body deal with, then we may wind up with slightly blunting our cancer killing effect, as I am not willing to stop all antioxidants for days before giving an oxidative treatment.
This same argument is going on today with some claiming because Biofilm used by Lyme to protect itself contains Magnesium, I now have well-meaning licensed MD’s WITHHOLDING Magnesium while treating ill patients. That is weakening the body’s ability to overcome its many challenges since anyone doing intracellular magnesium testing, using for example http://www.exatest.com in Oregon, will readily determine that serious illness invariably leads to relative magnesium deficiency when tested intracellularly, which is the only test outside of magnesium loading that proves most patients need magnesium. So, for a bad reason like magnesium in biofilm, these doctors are willing to compromise the health of the entire body leading to suboptimal outcomes.
This will be the same problem we will encounter where a little knowledge is dangerous and Oncologists will once again warn patients to take no vitamin C or other antioxidants.
HERE is one comment from the attached report and you may click in this report and read the abstract from the Nature article.
“Surprisingly, though, adding two types of antioxidants also prevented the tumor cells from dying by restoring ATP production — not by increasing glucose, but via another metabolic pathway called fatty acid oxidation. “We got as good if not better rescue of the ATP with antioxidants,” Brugge said.”
Garry F. Gordon MD,DO,MD(H)
President, Gordon Research Institute