Chemosensitizing effect of vitamin C in combination with 5-fluorouracil in vitro.
In Vivo. 2003 May-Jun;17(3):289-92. PMID: 12929582
The antiproliferative effect and apoptosis-inducing action of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) in combination with vitamin C were tested in vitro against the chemosensitive mouse lymphoma, the chemoresistant HEp-2 and a human lung fibroblast cell line. Vitamin C itself had no antiproliferative effect on the fibroblasts, but increased the anticancer effect of 5-FU dose-dependently. In the case of the chemoresistant cell line, only a high concentration of vitamin C increased the cytotoxicity of 5-FU. A combination of 5-FU and vitamin C exerted a significantly enhanced apoptotic effect on the mouse lymphoma cell line, whereas for the HEp-2 cell line this effect was less marked and was achieved only at a high concentration of vitamin C. These findings suggest that the administration of a high dose of vitamin C in combination with 5-FU chemotherapy enhances the chemoresponsiveness of cancer cells and serves as a potential sensitizer, especially in chemo-resistant cell lines. One of the mechanisms by which vitamin C potentiates cytostatics could be apoptosis induction.