Vitamin C Might Reverse Stress-induced Driver of Breast Cancer, Study Says

Vitamin C Might Reverse Stress-induced Driver of Breast Cancer, Study Says
Chronic stress and the consequent release of the stress hormone epinephrine may help breast cancer cells grow by helping them get more energy, a study in mice shows. This effect might be reversed through treatment with vitamin C, researchers report. The study, "Stress-induced epinephrine enhances lactate dehydrogenase A and promotes breast cancer stem-like cells," was published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation. The researchers first wanted to examine how stress affects tumor development. To do this, they stressed mice by confining them in a small habitat for a month. The stressed mice exhibited behaviors that resembled anxiety and depression, suggesting that the model was effective at generating mouse stress. The mice were then injected with mouse or human cancer cells. Tumors in the stressed mice grew faster and got larger than tumors in mice that hadn't been stressed. The researchers found that breast cancer stem cells were particularly enriched in the tumors of stressed mice. These cells are thought to drive most of the problematic aspects of cancer, such as tumor spread and the development of drug resistance. “You can kill all the cells you want in a tumor, but if the stem cells, or mother cells, are not killed, then the tumor is going to grow and metastasize. This is one of the first studies to link chronic stress specifically with the growth of breast cancer stem cells,” Keith Kelley, PhD, a professor at the University of Illinois and an author of the study, said in a
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