What is cancer and how badly does it affect the population?
Cancer is a disease which is caused by an uncontrolled growth of body cells or a malignant tumour caused by this. This uncontrolled growth is caused by a change in one single cell and there are over 100 different types. It can happen to any part of the body and results in 1.9 million deaths every year in Europe alone. Around 3.7 million new cases arise each year and almost 9 million deaths in the year 2015 alone as well as 2016 according to the World Health Organisation. Cancer greatly affects the population and the number of cases of cancer are to increase by at least 70% in the next two decades. There are currently many treatments however they are not 100% effective and have many side effects.
The aim of the study was to find a substance which could disrupt the cancer stem cells metabolism which helps to uncontrollably grow, therefore disturbing this would help slowing down the spread of cancer in the body.
Dr Gloria Bonucelli of the University of Salford in Manchester measured the ability of three natural substances on stopping the growth of cancer stem cells which are thought to be what causes a repeat encounter with cancer. A actinonin, FK866, and 2-DG were the three experimental drugs used in the trial. Caffeic acid phenyl ester, silibinin and finally vitamin C which is ascorbic acid were the three natural substances. The clinical drug stripipentol which is used in the treatment of epilepsy was also used.
The study showed two very interesting things. Firstly the most effective substances were FK866 and well as actinonin and Vitamin C was also found to work and was 10 times more effective than some of the other drugs involved. Also the method by which ascorbic acid works. It inhibits glcolysis which is a key function of the cell in which it breaks down the glucose produced by the cells mitochondria for processes.
After this the question just remains who and possibly when could we see ascorbic acids (vitamin C) help the fight against cancer which continues and worsens day by day as the number of cases increase. Hopefully more research will be done and we could possibly see vitamin C helping us in the fight against cancer.