Research ArticleCancer

High-dose vitamin C enhances cancer immunotherapy

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Science Translational Medicine  26 Feb 2020:
Vol. 12, Issue 532, eaay8707
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aay8707

A vitamin boost for immunotherapy

Despite some controversy over the years, it is gradually becoming clear that vitamin C has some anticancer effects, albeit only when given intravenously and at sufficiently high doses. However, earlier studies evaluating the anticancer effects of vitamin C have used immunodeficient mice and therefore only examined its direct effects on tumors. By studying immunocompetent mouse models of cancer, Magri et al. determined that the vitamin’s effects were much stronger in the presence of an intact immune system and that it cooperated with checkpoint immunotherapy. These findings suggest a promising approach to combination treatment, which now needs to be tested in patients.

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