Study shows vitamin E may decrease cancer risk in Cowden syndrome patients

September 17, 2012

Cleveland Clinic researchers have discovered that vitamin E may prevent cancer in patients with an under-recognized genetic disorder.

Several are known to be present in Cowden Syndrome (CS) – a disease that predisposes individuals to several types of cancers, including breast and thyroid cancers. One type of mutation in the succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) genes may be responsible for cancer development, according to research by Charis Eng, M.D., Ph.D., Hardis Chair and Director of the Institute and Director of its Center for Personalized Genetic Healthcare at Lerner Research Institute, published today in .

Dr. Eng discovered that mutations in SDH genes, responsible for energy production, result in an accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). These changes damage the cells and make them resistant to apoptosis – our bodies' natural method of weeding out cancerous cells.

However, when vitamin E was applied to the mutant cells, ROS accumulation decreased, as well as the accompanying cellular damage.

"These findings support the notion that vitamin E may be useful as an anti-cancer therapeutic adjunct or preventive agent, especially for CS patients harboring SDH mutations, and its protective properties should be further explored," said Dr. Eng.

CS predisposes individuals to several types of cancers – an 85 percent of breast cancer, a 35 percent risk for epithelial , and increased risk of other cancers as well. Approximately one in 200,000 people are affected by CS.

Explore further: Cleveland Clinic researcher discovers genetic cause of thyroid cancer

Related Stories

Cleveland Clinic researcher discovers genetic cause of thyroid cancer

December 23, 2011
Cleveland Clinic researchers have discovered three genes that increase the risk of thyroid cancer, which is has the largest incidence increase in cancers among both men and women.

Researchers discover that same gene has opposite effects in prostate, breast cancers

October 17, 2011
Researchers at Cleveland Clinic have discovered that a gene – known as an androgen receptor (AR) – is found in both prostate and breast cancers yet has opposite effects on these diseases.

Landscape of cancer genes and mutational processes in breast cancer

May 16, 2012
In a study published today in Nature, researchers describe nine new genes that drive the development of breast cancer. This takes the tally of all genes associated with breast cancer development to 40.

Recommended for you

Vitamin C may encourage blood cancer stem cells to die

August 17, 2017
Vitamin C may "tell" faulty stem cells in the bone marrow to mature and die normally, instead of multiplying to cause blood cancers. This is the finding of a study led by researchers from Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone ...

Outdoor light at night linked with increased breast cancer risk in women

August 17, 2017
Women who live in areas with higher levels of outdoor light at night may be at higher risk for breast cancer than those living in areas with lower levels, according to a large long-term study from Harvard T.H. Chan School ...

Scientists develop novel immunotherapy technology for prostate cancer

August 17, 2017
A study led by scientists at The Wistar Institute describes a novel immunotherapeutic strategy for the treatment of cancer based on the use of synthetic DNA to directly encode protective antibodies against a cancer specific ...

Toxic formaldehyde is produced inside our own cells, scientists discover

August 16, 2017
New research has revealed that some of the toxin formaldehyde in our bodies does not come from our environment - it is a by-product of an essential reaction inside our own cells. This could provide new targets for developing ...

Cell cycle-blocking drugs can shrink tumors by enlisting immune system in attack on cancer

August 16, 2017
In the brief time that drugs known as CDK4/6 inhibitors have been approved for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer, doctors have made a startling observation: in certain patients, the drugs—designed to halt cancer ...

Researchers find 'switch' that turns on immune cells' tumor-killing ability

August 16, 2017
Molecular biologists led by Leonid Pobezinsky and his wife and research collaborator Elena Pobezinskaya at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have published results that for the first time show how a microRNA molecule ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.