Scientists show benefit of targeting antioxidants in cancer Treatment

Posted: 12/9/2013

From Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine:

Northwestern Medicine® scientists have demonstrated how inhibiting an antioxidant protein - which cancer cells depend on for survival - could produce an array of new cancer treatments. It's a method opposite the long-standing approach of increasing antioxidants in cancer therapy.

Typically, reactive oxygen species (ROS) - oxidants - are constantly generated and eliminated within the body, as their buildup results in significant damage to cell structures. Cancer, however, uses them to maximize its ability to rapidly reproduce. To do this, they rely on intracellular antioxidants to keep ROS levels elevated but controlled.

Published in The Journal for Clinical Investigation, the preclinical research capitalizes on the fact that even cancer cells possess a vulnerability to ROS overload. Read more.