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In this study we show that the anticancer activity of vitamin C is limited by the upregulation of the stress-inducible protein heme oxygenase-1. Fasting-mimicking diet selectivity reverses vitamin C-induced upregulation of heme oxygenase-1 and ferritin in KRAS mutant cancer cells, consequently increasing reactive iron, oxygen species, and cell death; an effect further enhanced by chemotherapy. In support of a potential role for ferritin in colorectal cancer progression, an analysis of The Cancer Genome Atlas database indicates that colorectal cancer patients with a KRAS mutation and low levels of intratumoral ferritin mRNA show longer overall survival. long 3 and 5 years.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7214421/ (2020)

Scientists from USC and the IFOM Cancer Institute in Milan have found that a fasting-mimicking diet could be more effective at treating some types of cancer when combined with vitamin C.

In multiple studies on mice, researchers found that the combination delayed tumor progression in multiple mouse models of colorectal cancer; in some mice, it caused disease regression. The results were published in the journal Nature Communications.

“For the first time, we have demonstrated how a completely nontoxic intervention can effectively treat an aggressive cancer,” said Valter Longo, the study's senior author and the director of the USC Longevity Institute at the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology and a professor of biological sciences at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. “We have taken two treatments that are extensively studied as interventions to delay aging — a fasting-mimicking diet and vitamin C — and combined them as a powerful treatment for cancer.”

The researchers said that, while fasting remains a challenging option for cancer patients, a safer, more feasible option is a low-calorie, plant-based diet that causes cells to respond as if the body were fasting. Their findings suggest that a low-toxicity treatment of fasting-mimicking diet plus vitamin C has the potential to replace more toxic treatments.

Scientists believe that cancer will eventually be treated with low-toxicity drugs. To move toward that goal, they first needed to test two hypotheses: that their nontoxic combination interventions would work in mice and that the results would show promise for human clinical trials. In this new study, they said they had proven both.


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