Pharmacological Ascorbate as a Means of Sensitizing Cancer Cells to Radio-Chemotherapy While Protecting Normal Tissue.
Semin Radiat Oncol. 2019 Jan ;29(1):25-32. PMID: 30573181
Joshua D Schoenfeld
Chemoradiation has remained the standard of care treatment for many of the most aggressive cancers. However, despite effective toxicity to cancer cells, current chemoradiation regimens are limited in efficacy due to significant normal cell toxicity. Thus, efforts have been made to identify agents demonstrating selective toxicity, whereby treatments simultaneously sensitize cancer cells to protect normal cells from chemoradiation. Pharmacological ascorbate (intravenous infusions of vitamin C resulting in plasma ascorbate concentrations≥20 mM; P-AscH) has demonstrated selective toxicity in a variety of preclinical tumor models and is currently being assessed as an adjuvant to standard-of-care therapies in several early phase clinical trials. This review summarizes the most current preclinical and clinical data available demonstrating the multidimensional role of P-AscHin cancer therapy including: selective toxicity to cancer cells via a hydrogen peroxide (HO)-mediated mechanism; action as a sensitizing agent of cancer cells to chemoradiation; a protectant of normal tissues exposed to chemoradiation; and its safety and tolerability in clinical trials.